Friday, March 9, 2012

How to Find a Spring Peeper

Last year I wrote about spring peepers: how it is one of our spring rituals to go out in the evening to listen to their calls, and how unbelievable it is that I couldn't find any when they're so loud.

Spring Peeper 1
Photo credit: buckeye98
Thanks to the wonders of the internet, we found a technique that actually worked! We found a peeper, and held it in our hands! See if it works for you.

You will need:
  • at least three people,
  • a flashlight or headlamp for each person,
  • patience, and
  • the ability to sit quietly, close to a really loud noise.

Here's what you do:

  1. First, go to a spot where the peepers are calling. (Check our previous post.) They will probably stop calling when you get close. Sit quietly until the peepers start calling around you.
  2. Pick out the sound of an individual peeper that seems to be on land, in a spot accessible from multiple directions.
  3. Divide up your group and move so that you are standing on three different sides of where you think the sound is coming from. (This may take a few more quiet pauses, because when you move, it will probably stop calling again.)
  4. When you are arranged around the frog, and it is calling, say "go!" and all at once, shine your flashlights on the ground where it seems like the sound is coming from.
  5. Where the beams of your flashlights intersect is your best best for finding a peeper. Rummage around in the leaf litter and see if you can find that noisy little critter.

Then come back here and tell us if it worked!

Peeper 2
Photo credit: sfgamchick