daytime frog serenade

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Nancy Stotz

Mar 21, 2023, 11:05:16 PM3/21/23
to Mid-Valley Nature
For folks looking for opportunities to watch/photograph/film vocalizing frogs, they were putting on a good show in full sunshine (and 60 degree temperatures!) this afternoon at Dr. Martin Luther King Park in NW Corvallis. We heard them calling from a few different little swampy areas along the paved trail that parallels Lamprey Creek leading up to Ponderosa Dr. There was enough open water in some big tire ruts in a vacant lot adjacent to the cul-de-dac at the west end of the giant new development on the slopes above the park (just east of Ponderosa) that we were able to see a couple frogs out in the open. We also got good views of singing frogs in a well-vegetated stormwater ponding area at the edge of a slightly older neighborhood right behind the bathrooms and barn.

I think we saw and heard both chorus frogs and Pacific tree frogs. And of the latter, I think I got photos of both a green individual and a brown individual. The photos are in the Flickr album linked below. I labeled the green one and the first brown one tree frogs because the dark line that starts at the corner of their mouth stops just in front of their forelegs (and the spots on their back are small splotches). The chorus frog shows the dark line on its side extending much farther back, and the dark marks on its back are long broad lines instead of little blotches. If I have misidentified any of the photos, please let me know.
Regardless of their names, it was fun to hear them out there as we soaked up some sunshine today!
Nancy Stotz

Lisa Millbank

Mar 21, 2023, 11:45:53 PM3/21/23
to Nancy Stotz, Mid-Valley Nature
Those are great photos!  Pacific Chorus Frog and Pacific Tree Frog are two common names for the same frog, which is very confusing.  I believe this species has two common names because it's been placed in different genera over time.  It was once in Hyla, the Holarctic tree frogs, but is now in Pseudacris, the chorus frogs.  Pacific Tree Frog may be the most commonly used name.

Another confusing thing is their wide variety of colors and patterns.  Individuals can actually change between colors such as green, brown and gray, although it's a slow process.  But this is the only local species that's only a couple of inches long as an adult, has rounded toe pads and makes a very loud two-syllable ribbit call.  Typically, the black eye-stripe ends at the front leg, but in your photos, the grayish frog's eye-stripe doesn't quite reach his leg.  That seems to be an unusual variation. 

Lisa Millbank

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Lisa Romano

Mar 21, 2023, 11:52:02 PM3/21/23
to Lisa Millbank, Nancy Stotz, Mid-Valley Nature
All this talk about frogs has me wondering if there's anything I can do to attract them to my yard. I love listening to them and they're fun to observe. Years ago I had a resident Pacific tree frog on my front porch in WA and we were great friends. And years and years ago I lived in a cabin in rural VA and it was like a jungle in spring and summer with all the frogs (including tree frogs that would climb my screen doors at night). Short of creating a pond or wetland in my backyard, anything I can do to entice them to join me here?

Lisa Millbank

Mar 22, 2023, 12:08:49 AM3/22/23
to Lisa Romano, Nancy Stotz, Mid-Valley Nature
One thing we've had some limited success with at home is placing a lot of small logs around the yard, with some arranged into piles with deep nooks and crannies for critters to hide in.  Frogs sometimes take up residence in these piles.  I've also transplanted mosses onto the logs (moss mats that have been blown out of trees during storms).  Occasionally, I'll peek under a moss mat and find a frog underneath.  But the frogs also like to be inside the concrete blocks of the raised garden beds, under the sump pump pit cover, and in a plastic window box planter, so I guess they're not that particular!  I'd also be interested to know if anyone else has had success with other ways to attract frogs.

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