Why Spring Peepers Are More Often Heard Than Seen

spring peeper. Scott Clark/ MNN Flickr Group

If you live in the eastern U.S. or Canada, you know it's spring when you hear the calls of the spring peeper, a tiny chorus frog with a high-pitched call. They are among the first frogs to announce the arrival of the new season, with males hoping to attract the attention of females through sheer power of song.

The call of a male is a single high note repeated in rapid succession. One frog sounds similar to the peep of a chick — hence the name spring peeper — but when they sing in chorus, they sound like sleigh bells.

Even if you hear a spring peeper, you aren't likely to see them. They're nocturnal, which is the first challenge to spotting one. They like to stay in the cover of dense foliage near the water's edge, and they're also well camouflaged with tan or brown coloration. You manage to pinpoint the source of the sound somewhere near by, but you'll have a hard time spotting these tiny frogs as they measure only about an inch long!

It is certainly easier to sit back and enjoy the concert rather than search for the singers.