This weeks blog comes from our local School-to-Career Intern, Lily Bartlett! Lily has been an incredible help and has been working hard on a wide variety of projects since she started with us in September . Thank you again, Lily!
As coronavirus has taken over our usual routines, we can turn to nature as a welcome escape from our homes. Since being out of school, I have been granted the opportunity to explore the island as I have never before. The Conservation Foundation has many trails that are perfect for running and walking during social distancing. Some of my favorites at the moment are the roads at Head of the Plains and Tupancy. Going on daily walks and runs, I am able to observe the wildlife and notice the changes coming with spring including the return of the Spring peepers. Although most of us hear the peepers, not many know much about them.
Spring peepers, scientifically known as Pseudacris crucifer in the north, are small amphibians that average around one inch long. They are nocturnal creatures that hibernate in the winter and begin singing in the early spring. Peepers live in wooded and grassy areas near swamps, ponds, and wetlands; therefore, they are very common on the island!
The lifespan of a peeper is about three years. This little frog is tan, brown, olive, or grey; in general, the females are lighter colors while the males are darker. Spring peepers weigh about 0.11 to 0.18 ounces and usually are no longer than 1.5 inches.
For such a small animal it sure makes a large noise. The noise is generated by the male frogs when they close their mouths and nostrils and squeeze their lungs. This then causes their vocal sac to expand like a balloon. When the air is released it vibrates their vocal cords making the peeping sound we know and love. This is the peeper mating call.
Peepers can almost entirely freeze their bodies during winter and still survive.
They have a dark X on their back.
Only the males can make the peeping sound.
Their nicknames include pinkletinks, tinkletoes, and pinkwinks.