The first warming spring rains stir a number of animals to life, and in northern Wisconsin you may be aware of a bell-like “pee-eep, pee-eep, pee-eep,” (sounds like jingling bells) coming from the direction of a pond or marshy spot, even when there is snow on the ground.
Who is making this noise? Spring Peepers, tiny (postage stamp size) frogs that awaken from their underground sleep well before more other frogs and toads.
The Peeper’s call is a welcome one. Not only does it mean that spring is inevitable (it’s too early to say that it’s on its way in colder regions!), but it means you’ve also found a pond where you’ll be able to find other amphibians later in the spring and summer.
Would you like to see what the spring peeper looks like? Good luck! The frog is so small, and so well camouflaged that it’s very hard to actually glimpse the noisemaker. Spring Peepers are tree frogs, but they prefer the low branches of bushes and other plants, so concentrate low down when you are hunting. Spring Peepers usually wait until twilight to call, although on overcast days you may hear them earlier.
[Image: Courtesy of Flickr user ChipM2008]