Pacific Chorus Frogs Return

Today’s post is written by a special friend of Roxhill Park, Jeanie Murphy Ouellette who works as Public Education Program Specialist at Camp Long.

On April 20th, 2019, just in time for the Duwamish Alive Festival where I was leading tours of the Roxhill Bog at Roxhill Park, the official state amphibian of Washington, Pacific Chorus frogs, were heard calling in the area that has the most abundant water in the Roxhill Bog – Cell 5.

Pacific Chorus Frog

Scott Blackstock, Forest Steward for Roxhill Bog and Park, heard them first.  He said he hadn’t heard that sound in 20 years. We went and listened to them and by their call, I identified them as Pacific Chorus Frogs.  I work as an environmental educator for Seattle Parks Environmental Sustainability, Education and Engagement Unit out of Camp Long in West Seattle.

Mid-April is when mating season is at its peak for these delightful beings, heard all over Seattle in wetland areas like Magnuson Park and Carkeek Park in North Seattle, and Discovery Park.  Adult pacific treefrogs are generally 3.0 to 4.5 cm (1 to 2 inches) long and on average, females are larger than males.

Their other common name is Pacific Treefrog, Pseudacris regilla (formerly Hyla regilla). They can come in a variety of colors – brown, tan, grey or green- but their distinguishing characteristics are the toepads that they have on their front and hind toes to allow them to climb trees and shrubs in search of insects, and the dark eye stripe running through their eyes from the nostril to the tympanum (ear).  There are no other frogs found in the geographic range of the Pacific Treefrogs that have these defining characteristics.

We are not certain as to how they got there, but one of the people on The Roxhill Bog Tour said he knows of a wetland just south of Roxhill Bog where he hears them calling. Perhaps they came from that wetland?

However, that they got there, they are a good indicator species for the bog – and a welcome asset for people concerned that the bog is drying out.  

Learn more about Pacific Chorus Frogs

Written by Jeanie Murphy Ouellette
Public Education Program Specialist
Seattle Parks Environmental Sustainability, Education and Engagement Unit
Camp Long

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Roxhill Park needs YOU. 

The hint of warmer weather, longer days, birds singing and those dependable tulips waking up from the winter makes it easier to get up and emerge out of the house, as if we have been hibernating since November.  Roxhill Park is starting to wake up as well.   I hear the sounds out my window – children laughing on the swings, skateboarders practicing their tricks, parents cheering for their favorite soccer player.

Recently a new endeavor was born.  The Roxhill Park Development Program with help from Seattle Parks Commons Program has begun to develop a steering committee to work on planning activities and promoting the park, including the wetlands, play/picnic area and sports fields.  Our committee will be strong because of the community members who feel the same passion for our park with ideas and energy to make it a vibrant recreational commons and meeting place.

We are eager to build an events calendar for Spring/Summer 2018 and we need YOU.  We are looking for volunteers with all sorts of skills and experience.  If you have an idea or are interested, please come to our next meeting on April 18th at 6:00 pm at Daystar Retirement Village.

Get our full meeting location details -and/or – contact us here.

 

April is the cruellest month, breeding

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots with spring rain.

~ T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land