Lyssa White

Spring peepers are found in wooded areas and grassy lowlands near ponds and swamps in the central and eastern parts of Canada and the United States. These loud amphibians are rarely seen, but as temperatures begin to rise in March and April, the males certainly are heard. Their peep… peep… peep creates an other-worldly whistling sound that, to many, is the first sign of spring

Spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer) are tan or brown in color with dark lines that form an X on their backs. They grow to about 1.5 inches (3.8 centimeters) in length, and have large toe pads that act as suction cups for climbing.

They are nocturnal creatures, hiding from many predators during the day and emerging at night to feed on ants, beetles, flies, and spiders.

When the warmer weather arrives, male frogs attempt to attract a mate with a spring serenade. The frogs normally perform in trios. The one who starts each round usually has the deepest voice. The "vocal sacs" under their chins allow the frogs to “sing.” They pump the sacs full of air until they look like a full balloon, then let out a loud "peep" while discharging the air. They “peep” about once every second. These chirps can often be heard as far as a half-mile away.

After a female and male peeper mate, the female lays her eggs in water and spends the remainder of the year in the forest. During the winter, they hibernate under logs or behind loose bark on trees. The music dies down during the cold months, but the chirps of peepers will soon be heard again, sounding the coming of spring.

Text by Lyssa White