Breeding Bufos!!!

The highlight of recent walks has been a frenzied spring chorus emanating from dozens of American toads in shallow waters. Breeding season! The toads are extremely active in the late morning sun and warmth, perching, calling, chasing and breeding. Sometimes the water is “boiling” with breeding activity as several males battle over a female. The mating calls,  loud trilling sounds lasting several seconds, are one of the more distinct and pleasing sounds of spring.

This is their story, as I’ve observed it, among emerging cattails in the shallow water of the Chenango Canal in Central new York.

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Actual breeding, referred to as amplexus, involves the male grasping the larger, more colorful female and fertilizing her double strand of gelatinous eggs as they are extruded.

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Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

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8 thoughts on “Breeding Bufos!!!

    • Thanks Judith. This is how I kill time while Max is at physical therapy! This was my best encounter to date with toads during the breeding season and I was happy to have a complete series to blog. A nice journal entry for local ecology in a year that is anything but normal. I think of amphibians as canaries in the cage in terms of environmental health.

    • Thanks!!! On another topic — I recently had a photo op with red fox pups near a den and thought of the wildlife rehab work that you and your husband do. I got close to two pups, resting in the mid day sun, and discovered that they were not well, especially the smaller one. It was in pretty bad shape and exhibited symptoms of mange. Sad. Thoughts?

      • Mange is difficult to treat, but a larger rehabilitation facility I work with has had some luck if it’s caught early. That’s one of those tough calls, Nick. I have taken ill mammals to Wildcare (about an hour from here) before, only to find out they needed to be euthanized as they were too far along with illness. If you live near a wildlife rehabilitation facility you might call as ask for their advice. There have also been times I have had to let nature take its course… and that is always a difficult call for me. In extreme cases here on our property Forrest has put the poor critter out of its misery.

    • Thanks Joe. Glad I’ve connected with a kindred spirit! Must give my wife credit for recent posts and photos. After dropping her off at 10:45 AM for her physical therapy appointments, I would drive to the canal and walk the towpath trail…something other than my normal routine. Really enjoyed this particular experience.

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