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Jeepers, Creepers... a Different Kind of Peepers!

Posted May 01, 2014 2:20 PM by SavvyExacta

The birds are singing, the grass is greening, and the peepers are peeping. Spring has finally sprung here in upstate New York after a long, long winter. "What's a peeper?" you ask? I was surprised how many people wonder what I'm talking about when I mention how deafening the sound of the peepers is each night.

Peepers, also known as spring peepers, are little frogs. They are just as synonymous with spring in the Northeast as are crocuses, daffodils, robins, bluebirds, and pussywillows. Peepers are commonly found in wetlands, so if you're a city dweller, that may explain why you haven't heard them (or been kept up all night by them).

Maybe you know peepers by another name. I thought it was interesting, that according to Wikipedia, they are called something else in different parts of the country:

On Martha's Vineyard, peepers are commonly called "pinkletinks"; in New Brunswick, Canada, they are sometimes called "tinkletoes", although not commonly known by that name, and usually referred to as simply "peepers". On Nova Scotia's South Shore, they are sometimes referred to as "pink-winks."

Interestingly enough, peepers hibernate through the winter and can endure freezing of their bodily fluids down to -8° C. It does this by producing a glucose that acts as a natural anti-freeze to keep cells from rupturing. (Maryland Department of Natural Resources)

They start peeping in early spring in conjunction with breeding season. The males are the ones producing the peeping noise. Females can lay up to 1,000 eggs.

How can such tiny frogs keep someone up at night with their peeping? According to the Kentucky Farmhouse website , peepers can be heard as far as 2.5 miles away. At my house, it's easy to hear them by day and after dark it sounds like we live in a jungle!

If you've never heard peepers, listen here.

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#1

Re: Jeepers, Creepers... a Different Kind of Peepers!

05/02/2014 6:56 AM

you said "They are just as synonymous with spring in the Northeast as are crocuses, daffodils, robins, bluebirds, and pussywillows."

I don't know what a pussywillow is. Should I ask my wife? Or Del?

Jim

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#5
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Re: Jeepers, Creepers... a Different Kind of Peepers!

05/02/2014 7:22 PM

It's a tree. The male does have fuzzy balls.

Two flowering male catkins from a goat willow tree (Salix caprea).Pussy willow - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Here in the desert of Arizona we don't have a spring.

In Arkansas, where I was raised the frogs sand all night long. They'd also tell us when it was going to rain.

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#2

Re: Jeepers, Creepers... a Different Kind of Peepers!

05/02/2014 8:26 AM

Enjoy spring time.

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#3

Re: Jeepers, Creepers... a Different Kind of Peepers!

05/02/2014 3:17 PM

We have them around here from early spring until late fall. Its one of the things I like about where I live.

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#4

Re: Jeepers, Creepers... a Different Kind of Peepers!

05/02/2014 4:43 PM

Spring? Try anytime it gets really wet and is above freezing in NW Pa - western NY.

And, -8° C - we hit -25º F around here quite often, quite a bit lower than your 17ºF equivalent - they must find some insulation somewhere - the swamps they are in out back of my house are shallow enough you can wade right through them - they freeze solid in winter so you can walk right over them - however, the peepers are still there in spring despite the extreme chill in winter.

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