This post was first published at the end of May, last year. But the frogs are chorusing away outside right now, and they deserve another post!
There is nothing else like it; the frogs’ spring recital is music to our ears. Can you think of any sound more reminiscent of long quiet evenings on the northern prairie?
The little amphibian responsible for the most musical of the frog sounds we hear near Spirit River is probably the Boreal Chorus Frog, a.k.a. pseudacris maculate (which would be an awesome name for a band!). At just 20 to 40 mm long, this is Alberta’s smallest amphibian. The lack of webbing between their hind toes means they are not true frogs.
But whatever they lack in webbing or size, these little guys make up for in VOLUME! They sing loud and they sing long. What for? They’re hollering for a mate. Breeding and hatching will go on for another few weeks, and then the noise will start to die down. Enjoy it while you can!
Boreal Chorus Frogs are doing well, living and singing all over Alberta except in alpine areas. It’s true that frog populations can tell a lot about pollution levels: these amphibians do avoid places where pesticides are used heavily. It’s good to hear a healthy chorus in the Peace Country.
You can hear a selection from their spring concert here.