Monday, April 11, 2011

Batrachian chorus

The local common toad, Bufo americanus, is now singing from the garden pond. At this time of year they sing in broad daylight and seem indifferent to the presence of potential predators. Or do they somehow know that there is no way I'm going to eat a toad? The air temperature when the photo was taken was over 85⁰ F and there was a breeze now and then, but otherwise it was quiet and still.  Today there were at least four toads at the pond, probably three males and one female. In the past, on peak nights, I've counted over thirty.

Toads have been singing from a neighbor's house only a few doors away for about two weeks. Each year the toads there begin earlier that they do here. That site is probably no more than 500 feet away.

The toads are not the only ones spawning in the pond. The goldfish are also spawning. If you didn't know any better, you might think the spawning goldfish were trying to get out of the pond. They form groups of four or five fish and thrash,flop and splash at the very edge of the pond.

In the image above you see a pair in amplexus.

I recorded the males singing today: take a listen:

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