Spring Peeper

The spring peeper frog gets its name because it chirps away to mark the beginning of Spring.

It's scientific name is pseudacris crucifer .

They can be found all over eastern United States and Canada.  The frog currently has no special conservation status and is fairly stable in population apart from in Iowa and Kansas where they are listed as threatened.

It makes a fairly loud chirping noise that has been said to sound a bit like a chicken and when they all chirp together it has been said that they sound a lot like sleigh bells.

The call that they make is actually the male calling sound to herald the start of the mating season also.  So at night you can hear them calling out to attract a mate.  Once they attract a female they will mate and the female will then lay hundreds of eggs under water.  

The spring peeper is a nocturnal frog, most active at night.

If you listen to the video above, you will probably realise you have heard the Spring Peeper many times, but might not have recognised what you were hearing!  It is actually such a relaxing, beautiful sound, and on Youtube there are lots of videos of spring peepers that you can play for hours to help you get to sleep!  It would seem that we all really love the noise that these tiny frogs make and their beautiful cacophony of sound.

spring peeper : Interesting facts

  • This frog is around about 1 inch in size
  • It is a carnivorous frog eating beetles, flies and spiders
  • It weighs around 0.11 ounces
  • Peepers are preyed upon by small snakes
  • The females lay their eggs in the shallows of larger water bodies, or vernal pools.  (a vernal pool is a temporary pool of water that is seasonal.  It is not fed by a permanent water inlet and is usually formed through the heavy seasonal rains, and will dry up in the summer months)
  • The frog does like to climb, but it prefers to be on the forest floor
  • They come in the colours of brown, green or gray
  • The male frogs tend to have grey  throats and the females throats are white
  • The frog has a vocal sac by its throat that inflates and deflates and emits the 'peeping' sound - only the male frogs have this ability
  • The female is capable of laying up to 1,000 eggs at a time
  • Folklore has it that the spring peeper has to 'freeze out' three times before the spring is here to stay.   As they are usually about the first frog to herald the new spring season, the sound of them is a bit sporadic at the very beginning of spring, and sometimes they will come and go for a bit until the warm weather is here to stay and then you can hear their chorus every night.
  • Some people say that when these frogs are exceptionally loud at night, it can predict that there is a huge storm on the way!

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