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April 22, 2022: Wood Frogs & Ruffed Grouse (Earth Day!)

High water persists along the Pushaw Stream and Wabanaki Trails, but it is slowly dropping. We recommend waterproof shoes for all trails except the access road and the Trail of the Senses. The weather forecast looks promising for the weekend! Come and enjoy the trails and keep tuned to all the new sounds!

The peepers and wood frogs started calling for mates. If you hear a ducklike sound, near a body of water in the woods, its most likely a Wood Frog.

Their egg masses in the Big Spring and in some pools along the access road (freshly laid egg mass on April 19) are proof that the calls were answered. The egg mass, if exposed to the surface looks like bubbles, and is often attached to vegetation. One egg mass can have 800 to 1000 eggs! If temperatures and water level are favorable wood frogs should be fully developed anytime between mid-June to early July. If you see a pool of water on your hike, see if you can find egg masses. We ask you not to disturb them. Take a photo, plan another visit soon to see the development. The tadpoles should have hatched in a week.

Currently you can hear the drumming of the ruffed grouse. It is a muffled sound of a truck engine that is just not quite starting. The male choses a log, rock or mount that elevates him above ground and beats his wings creating the ‘engine sound’ In the spring time the drumming is used to attract a mate, and during other times of the year to claim his territory.

Last but not least, the Tree Swallows, hirundo’s emblem, have returned! You can admire their flight agility in the big field.


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