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.
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.
Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.