By Jim White, Associate Director, Land and Biodiversity
Spring in Delaware is typically unpredictable – this spring is no exception. After many days of unseasonably cool temperatures, we found ourselves in a heat wave. As daytime temperatures skyrocketed into the low 90’s, summer seemed to arrive – almost two months early. I knew that humans were not going to be the only animals to take advantage of the beautiful weather, so I headed to my favorite Delmarva Bay in southern New Castle County to see what frogs were going to be breeding. As I pulled up to the pool I was not disappointed as I could hear an incredibly loud cacophony of calling frogs. After putting on the proper frogging gear (waders, headlamp, and nerdy multi-pocketed equipment vest) I headed out into the pool with video camera in hand. I could identify eight species of frogs calling all around me. Two species, the Spring Peeper and Southern Leopard Frog, have been breeding since mid-March. However, several species that typically breed later in spring and early summer were also calling. These included the Green Frog, American Bullfrog, Eastern Cricket Frog, Gray Treefrog, Cope’s Gray Treefrog, and the rare Barking Treefrog. Accompanied by a good number of mosquitoes, I spent almost three hours in the two-foot deep pool attempting to videotape the frogs in action. It wasn’t easy but I did manage to get a little footage of a couple species as they called from the water’s surface. As you might expect, my “summer in April night” was one heck of a good time. I will be writing more on Delmarva Bays in a future blog. In the meantime I hope you enjoy the attached video.