A medium-sized treefrog, the Bird-voiced Treefog is found in swamps, creeks and rivers in the western part of the state.
Description: The color of these treefrogs, which are 1 to 1.75 inches long, is highly variable but they are usually gray or green with irregular marks on their back. They have a light, sometimes white, spot under the eye, warty skin, and yellow-green to pale green "flash colors" on the hidden part of their thighs.
Similar Species: The Gray Treefrog has yellow-orange on the concealed surfaces of the thigh.
Voice: A ringing, somewhat birdlike whistle repeated 20 or more times. Some liken the call to the sound of someone whistling for their dog. They begin calling in mid-April and continue through August.
Habitat: The Bird-voiced Treefrog is found in bottoms, sloughs and swamps along rivers and large creeks in the western portion of the state.
Diet: Opportunistic feeders that forage in trees and shrubs, Bird-voiced Treefrogs consume spiders and small tree-dwelling insects.
Breeding information: Considered late breeders, this species lays small bunches of 6-15 eggs in shallow pools. Metamorphosis of tadpoles takes about 30 days.
Status in Tennessee: Common in appropriate habitat and range.
- Bird-voiced Treefrogs are nocturnal and arboreal, coming from the trees only to breed
- The bright "flash colors" on the thighs of treefrogs (which are hidden when the frog is at rest) is thought to visually confuse predators
Best places to see in Tennessee: Swamps in West Tennessee are good locales to find this species.
For more information:
The Frogs and Toads of Tennessee web site
LEAPS Consulting web site on frogs and toads
The University of Michigan Museum of Zoology
Conant, R. and Collins, J. 1998. Peterson Field Guides: Reptiles and Amphibians (Eastern/Central North America). Houghton Mifflin Company, New York. 616pp.
Recording ©2010, Robert English, Leaps