Thursday, April 5, 2012

Pacific treefrog aka chorus frog aka Hollywood frog

Photo by imarsman
 "MrDeMilleI'm ready for my close- up." These frogs
grow to about 2 inches, are often green but can be
brown or gray. Identify them by that black stripe that runs
from snout to shoulder.
Okay, nobody really calls the Pacific chorus frog the Hollywood frog, except for me. Here's my reasoning: when movie directors need the ribbet of frogs for the background sound in a film, they rely on recordings of the noisy trilling frog readily found in Hollywood: the Pacific chorus frog aka Pacific treefrog. 

So, the harmonies of this native to the west are heard in movies and television shows set in places where these amphibians have never set toe pad, such as Amazon jungle, Maine woods, Louisiana bayou. (Filmmakers have much less regard for the importance of habitat than do the frogs themselves.)

Now that spring is supposedly here in western Oregon (goodbye wettest March on record, hello rainy April), the male treefrogs are singing their little hearts out. Chances are the frogs you hear now are these movie stars. Our other frogs are quieter and their musical seasons are briefer.

Just in case you don't live in the Pacific Northwest (and don't have a movie handy), here's the sound you're missing:


  1. Well, you have just totally freaked out my cats.  I listened to those recorded calls and the cats are going nuts trying to find the critters.

    Are these also known as the "peepers" that herald spring?  

  2. Patriciak LichenApril 5, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    Nope--peepers are small frogs found back east. (My cat was wide-eyed about that recording too!)

  3. They are singing outside my back porch every night now. Wow! love that pacific chorus!

  4. My cat was seeking the elusive frogs as well.  I got several of the recordings playing at once and it drove her nuts.  I have lots of these frogs where I live and the pond by my house here must be filled with thousands of them.  They are so loud.  I sometimes hear one really loud one by my front door and I swear he must weigh 20 pounds.

  5. Aha! So these are the ones that are in the background of movies set in deepest, darkest Africa/Amazon! Nice to put a fact to the sound.