December 11, 2019

CT Naturalist: The Gray Tree Frog

We are pleased to be able to offer a new series of weekly articles from CTnaturalist, which will provide an in-depth look at Connecticut’s local wildlife. Producer, Will Michael, is an environmental educator and filmmaker. He is a lifelong resident of Connecticut and National Geographic has recognized his work with local habitats. This exciting achievement emphasizes his message that one needn’t travel far to discover fantastic wildlife; Connecticut is home to some of the most diverse and fascinating animal species in the world!

We begin the series with a look at the gray tree frog…

As August begins in Connecticut, keep your ears open for the final songs of the gray-tree frog. The famous trill is heard from June through the end of July, but the recent hot weather is causing frogs to linger longer this year. Take a look at the following video to see live action:

On hot summer nights the trills of male tree frogs emanate out from the perimeters of ponds and wetlands.  The gray-tree frog is a small arboreal frog that spends most of its time in the trees. When breeding season they travel near the water to conduct their annual breeding ritual.

Males produce a high-pitched trill using an air sack under their throat.  The female will choose the male with the most appealing song to be her suitor.

Females lay their eggs in the water where tadpoles will hatch and develop. When they transform into frogs, they will leave behind the water and join their parent’s generation in the trees.

Gray tree frogs are extremely camouflaged and are nearly impossible to distinguish from their surroundings. They have the special ability to change color from a range of green, gray, and charcoal.

Each of their fingers and toes has suction cup-like tips, enabling them to stick to nearly any surface and climb up a vertical terrain with ease.

The trills of the gray tree frog are a sound of high summer – keep ears and eyes open this summer, for this special amphibian in your community.

Stay tuned each week as CTnaturalist explores amazing wildlife found in your backyard!

Will Michael is the producer of CT Naturalist Productions, providing environmental media and education to throughout Connecticut through video and live presentation. His work with vernal pool life has been recognized by National Geographic, emphasizing his message that one needn’t travel far to find natural diversity. Some of the most amazing wildlife in the world can be found right here in our own community!

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