Jim Williams has been watching birds and writing about their antics since before "Gilligan's Island" went into reruns. Join him for his unique insights, his everyday adventures and an open conversation about the birds in your back yard and beyond.

Sunday, a treefrog

Posted by: Jim Williams under Birds in the backyard Updated: July 29, 2012 - 5:24 PM

 The find of the day Sunday was a Gray Treefrog, which might be a Cope’s Gray Treefrog. This fellow was 10 feet off the ground, resting on a grape leaf. the vine growing up onto our deck. The birds in the yard were the usual visitors – House Finch, goldfinch, chickadee, cardinal – so the frog got my attention. This species climbs well, using sticky toe pads. I’ve watched them climb glass patio doors, attracted by insects attracted in turn by interior lights. The frog also can snap insects out of the air. If I had unfolded the legs of this frog, here neatly tucked tight to its body, we could see the bright yellow color on the inside of its legs. This species will freeze pretty much solid in the winter. They spend cold months under leaves, bark, logs, or rocks. Most of the liquid in their bodies freezes. Organs are kept viable by glucose produced by the frog’s liver. The two look-alike species can be distinguished by song if you listen carefully. Definitive identification involves chromosome study. The frog, about an inch and a half long, was gone a couple of hours after discovery. How did it get up there? The grape vine does not offer an easy ladder for ascent. I’d like to watch one do the climb. Getting down surely is easier. 

 

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