Tuesday, March 20 is first day of spring! With the weather we are having in southern Michigan, spring has a significant jump start, with the daffodils blooming and the wetlands a chorus of song from Michigan's frogs and toads and many species of birds. I encourage you to take a moment this week to visit a wetland near you to listen and see if you can name the species that are singing the songs of spring.
An easy way to get started is to learn to identify Michigan's frogs and toads. With only 13 native species of frogs and toads, they are easy to learn. In early spring, only a few are calling and in my local wetland I have been able to identify four species at the time of this writing.
There are many resources available to help you learn the about our native frogs and toads and their songs. The Michigan DNR web site (LINK) has detailed information on Michigan's frogs and toads and you can hear recordings of their songs by visiting the MSU Remote Environmental Assessment Laboratory web site (LINK). For those die hard frog and toad enthusiasts the DNR Frog and Toad Survey provides a fun spring and early summer project. Participants document frog and toad abundance and distribution, helping the state to monitor populations over the long term. To learn more about this program, visit the Michigan DNR Frog and Toad Survey page, (LINK).
Your local Conservation District is also a resource for printed materials and identification guides. Many Districts have available for sale identification books and audio CDs with pictures, descriptions and quality recordings of Michigan's native frogs and toads so you can take your guides with you as you visit your local wetlands.
Have fun and happy listening!