The American Toads were singing last week...

frankielynnsie(7B)March 26, 2013

But winter came back this week and I haven't heard a peep, trill? out of them. This has been the craziest year for weather that I ever remember. Warm in the mid 70's for 3 or 4 days then snow flurries??? and cold for a week. Off and on, back an forth. Not a cold enough period to kill the fire ants or any of the other bad bugs. But thankfully not the bad snow storms the central and north are getting. I live in the heart of Dixie and it should be nice warm work outside weather right now.

Are you all tired of waiting for ponding and gardening weather?

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So much for global warming...
I cant wait to get back into the pond this year but it was coverd in a foot of snow, but ai couldnt take it any longer and shoveld all the snow away on top of it. Suppose to be really warm this week though so hooefully no more snow!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 9:48PM
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Oh, don't mention the toads!!! A couple of years ago we heard this awful racket outdoors ... only to find we had toads mating in our small 200 gal. preform pond in the yard! Had the pond for years & no toads & have a 6 ft. block wall around the back yard... where did they come from & get in all of a sudden... in with the rain?!! Last year we had TWO pairs of toads & had the pond full of those awful eggs. I think now what began as a curiosity will become a yearly problem ... the noise is deafening!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 8:29PM
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We usually get 50+ toads a year in our water garden.

While the noise can be deafening since our water garden is right outside our windows, it only lasts for a few weeks, spring and fall. Definitely more in spring than fall.

After their spring/fall mating season we rarely see or hear them.

American Toads or more accurately the Eastern American Toads suffer from a very high mortality rate. I think this is somewhat universal with toads. Scientist believe this is reason for their high reproductive rates, that so few actually survive into adulthood.

I do not treat their eggs with any sort of "preciousness" but at the same time it doesn't stop me from preforming my spring cleanings AROUND their eggs -- which is saying something given my general compulsive behavior.

Interestingly while the toads can be so loud that we have to close up our windows at night, it furnishes a great background soundtrack to the neighborhood. I mean get about 50 yards away and people comment on how they're "singing" and how it sounds like "summer."

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 2:29PM
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rsingley(z6a NJ)

Here in North Jersey I have not heard a single chirp yet. No peepers, no American toads, nothing. I thought last night's rains would have brought them out but I was wrong. I'm waiting im-patiently...

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 4:10PM
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Do you have many of the eggs that hatch & get out of the pond? I put some of the egg mass in a bucket of water but never saw any hatch nor any in the pond grow into 'toadlets'! Imagine the goldfish probably ate some of the eggs? Yes, I got some cute night pics of the toads submerged in the water. Do they swim much ,,, how do they get out of the water if no plants to cling to? Guess they overwinter in our yard somewhere so am afraid to spade up the garden in spring in fear of hitting one. I assume once in the walled in yard they stay then?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 5:24PM
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They started singing again last night. I have stair step rocks from one of my rock topped milk crate fish hide-outs so they can get out. When they leave the pond there are tiny toadies everywhere and we have to watch where we step.

We have Fowlers toads usually and their voice is less than beautiful-kind of a whiny scream . This year the American toads have moved into the pond, they trill. The Fowler's toads may come later in the spring. The only frog sound that strikes terror in my heart is the rubberband bull frog call. To many times when they show up they eat my baby fish.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 7:58PM
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Their "trill" is an accurate description of their sound.

Don't be surprised if you find a few that appear to drown. It's a fact of their existence; they go into a sort of death grip and hold one another too long sometimes.

My skimmer box is a popular place for the toads on colder nights and bright days. I checked and had about thirty in the box today. They make their way out at some time.

After they lay their eggs you'll see their slimmy eggs lines, that's what I call 'em, strung through the water from side to side.

In a month or so tadpoles emerge and grow bigger and bigger. Tadpoles will swim around for a few weeks it seems until one or two bright afternoons you'll see all these little toads popping around on the edges of the water garden. They just seem to make their way out -- I have a rock edge on most of my garden.

Most will not be seen again. Every so often I'll turn over a rock or open the skimmer's cover in the summer and see a young toad.

They grow pretty fast through our long summers here in Kansas. They're obviously feasting on insects that are abundant -- a good thing for any garden.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 1:48AM
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I watch the ones that stay grow over the summer. Their favorite spot is under the patio /sidewalk lights. The lights are a bug lover's buffett, after they beat their brains out on the light they drop to the ground and are quickly consumed by the toads. Some of the toads get so big and fat they can hardly get around.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 6:49PM
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Gosh, frankielynn: wonder why I see the pond surface with all the toad eggs but never see any of the hatched babies? Could my big goldfish be eating them? A blessing I guess as the yard wouldn't support a lot of toads anyway,. and... we have four dogs! The toads are so unafraid though & let me handle them easily!
Where do they stay the rest of ther year in your yard where you don't by accident dig into one of them in the gardens?

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 7:24PM
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Just FYI, vieja, (and I know you didn't ask me), but I've been told by a professor of herpotology that hungry goldfish may attempt to eat tadpoles but will seldom repeat it.

Toads and their tadpoles have a poisonous gland that when punctured makes for an awful burning sensation. Aggressive dogs are particularly affected by this as they may think nothing of it to try but once they do it will be like getting hit with mace.

Frogs and their tadpoles, I think, do not have this toxin/skin and will be consumed by hungry predators.

Again citing what I've been told by my professor friend, the rather large production of eggs and tadpoles and little toads is a development within the evolutionary process to help the species to survive onward. Very few make it to adulthood.

In the summer months the toads seek out cooler, dark spaces. They're so small and agile that they find their way under rocks and crevices that are insanely small. That's where you'll find them hiding.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 1:29PM
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I have a large bed not far from the pond that has large chunk pine bark mulch over a weed fabric. When cleaning up that area of leaves I always find hiding toads. There are vegetable and perennial beds near by and I find them there too. I see them all the way around the house in the mulch beds. I have a big hosta bed on the north side of the house and many live there. They help control my slug population.

My 2 little dogs have had first hand experience with chasing and trying to pick them up and then foaming at the mouth. Yuck-we have to rinse out their mouths and it usually take 1 time in the spring to remember to leave them alone.

We seem to have a huge toad population. I have to stop when mowing the grass and rescue them to a safer place. I would hate to mow over one.

I always thought some of them were eaten by the goldfish but they might have been a different type of tadpole.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 8:51PM
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Pondbucket: Oh, then that is why my dogs won't pick one up... probably tried it once & got the taste?! Thanks!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 11:50PM
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They're back!!!

Saw a small toad on the front drive last night... went out & picked it up & put it in the garden & less than an hour later there began this loud croaking! Went out & there the toad had escaped tha garden & found the pond again & was in it calling for his girls'! Got a pic of this one too ... doesn't seem afraid at all & I can pick it up & stroke its head ... cold, slimey little creature!!! Now wonder when the big (gets bigger every year!) 'family reunion' begins?!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 7:06PM
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