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Saturday, May 25, 2024

NOTES FROM THE FALLEN TREE: Spring Peepers Loudly Announce Their Name

Northern spring peeper (Pseudacris crucifer).Photo by J. Correa-Kruegel.

It’s always convenient when an animal tells you its name, as is the case with spring peepers. Their high-pitched “PEEP-ER, PEEP-ER” is much louder than their small size would suggest and I have heard these small animals over four lanes of traffic in the early spring. 

These frogs can be seen (but mostly heard) near the edges of ponds, lakes or temporary bodies of water like vernal pools during the breeding season. They are only about three quarters of an inch to 1 3/8 inches in size and they are typically marked with an ‘X’ on their back. 

A northern spring peeper. Photo by J. Correa-Kruegel.

Outside of breeding season, the frogs will migrate upland to feed on ants, spiders and other small invertebrates. 

Their numerous eggs can be difficult to find due to being laid as individuals on plants underwater instead of large clumps like the wood frogs. Although they are abundant, they are another amphibian that needs help crossing the road during those warm rainy nights in spring. 

Jennifer Correa-Kruegel, Warren County Naturalist
Jennifer Correa-Kruegel, Warren County Naturalist

Jennifer has a Masters in Parks and Resource Management from Slippery Rock University. She worked as a Park Naturalist for Hunterdon County Park System from 2003-2006 and then at the NJSOC full-time from 2006 - 2020, starting as the Program Coordinator and evolving to an Environmental Educator. Jen is a New Jersey native and has lived in Warren County with her family since 2004. She is excited to be offering programs to this community she has grown to love.