Nature's Focus: The Northern Gray Treefrog


Northern Gray Treefrog
Photos by Thomas W. Gorman

   
   With the spring season fully upon us, we are experiencing changes with the weather and temperatures that accompany this season, and with it we see the changes in nature happening all around us.

    In many cases we easily see that all kinds of wildlife are already raising their young, and their babies are either poking their heads out of the nests, burrows or tree cavities to get a feel for the world which they have entered.  There are so many species which are either too small to see emerge into their lives such as the dragonflies and damselflies, and yet there are others that are visible but difficult to discern without a closer look.



    One species which is always a challenge for me is the Northern Gray Treefrog.  This species is seen throughout New Jersey and is one which has the best camouflage that I’ve ever seen on a creature in this area.  When resting on the bark of a tree they blend in so well with their surroundings, that you may need to look twice to confirm its presence.  Or, maybe I simply need new glasses.

    In any event, the Northern Gray Treefrog ranges in size from 1.2 to 2.5” and typically their rough textured body is varying shades of gray, yet there are also those that are considered a dark morph with their coloring being varying shades of dark brown.
Underneath their legs, which normally are not visible, the coloring is a bright yellow/orange.  Most of the time they are located either in the notch of a tree or shrub where the branches spread out, or they are in small tree cavities which protrude off of the side of a main trunk.  During the breeding season their locations are generally within 10’ or so of ground level and are found in marshes and wetlands.  After breeding they are heard and found in the upland woodlands of the state.

    Additional information pertaining to this species may be found at:
www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/ensp/pdf/species/no_gray_treefrog.pdf
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