As we enter March, look to the frog for inspiration on how to make the most of this transitional season: get outdoors and make some noise, soak up the sun, and look for seasonal oases around you.
While Massachusetts thaws, woodland hollows and low areas flood, creating temporary isolated pools. The resulting vernal pools fill with melting snow, spring rain, runoff, and rising groundwater, which amphibians live in during critical periods of their life cycle.
Soon, you’ll start to hear an orchestra of active frogs by vernal pools, starting with woods frogs. You can learn how to distinguish different frog calls and find out how to contribute to a community science project by signing up for our Frog Watch USA online program.
If you’ve been spending many of your pleasant summer evenings in a wooded area, perhaps sitting in your backyard or a local park, you may have heard a short, high-pitched trill pierce the stillness and thought, “What on Earth kind of bird is that?!” That’s no bird! It’s the Gray Treefrog.
These minute masters of camouflage clock in at just 1.25″–2.25″ in length, with the females often slightly larger than the males. They can change their color based on their environment, ranging from green to gray to brown, but young frogs are typically bright green.
Found everywhere in Massachusetts except the islands, Gray Treefrogs can be heard (but difficult to spot) around dusk from spring through summer as they look for mates and establish their territories.
Enjoy these five fabulous photos of Gray Treefrogs from our annual Picture This: Your Great Outdoors photo contest. Don’t forget to submit your own nature photography, as the 2020 contest is now open!