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PAGE17MAZINAIGANSPRINGSUMMER2013KIDSPAGEJeeperscreeperslistentothosepeepersGiziibwewedsingsSpringisatimewhenMotherEarthwakesuptoanewseason.Manyofnaturesvoiceshavebeensilentthroughthelongquietwinter.Butnowifyougooutsideyouwillhearthesoundsofspring.Youwillhearthedripdripdripofmeltingsnow.Ifyouaretappingmaplesyouwillhearthesapplopandpingintothecanbeneaththetap.Youmayhearrunningwaterasriversandstreamsbreakloosefromtheiceorthesongsofrobinsastheyreturnnorth.Butifyoulivenearpondsormarshesyouwillsurelyhearthenight-timecallsofthetinygiziibwewedspringpeeperfrogsfreshoutoftheirwin-tersleep.Peepersdigintothesoftmudnearpondsforthewinterandthengointoapartly-frozenhibernationuntiltheweatherwarmsup.Peeperfrogsareverytinyaboutaninchoraninchandahalflong.Thatwouldbeaboutthislength.SotheyarehardtoseebuttheyhaveaveryBIGvoiceespe-ciallythemalepeeperswhoarebusycallingtotheirmatesasthesunsetsonspringevenings.Somesaythatapondfullofpeeperscansoundlikesleighbellsjingling.Theycomeoutveryearlyinthespringoftenwhensomesnowisstillonthegroundandiceonthepondssoareoneofthefirstspringvoices.Theselittlefrogscanbehardtofindbecausetheyaresotinybutifyouareluckyyoumayseeonesittingonorunderabladeofgrassorinacrevice.YouwillknowitisapeeperbydarkstripesonitsbackthatformanX.Theyareusuallygraytanorbrownincolorandcanchangecolorslightlytoblendintothecolorsaroundthemtoprotectthemselvesfrombeingeatenbysnakesorbirds.Thisiscalledcamouflage.Ifthepeepersarepeepingyoumayalsoseethemfilluptheirneckwithairlikeasmallballoonundertheirchin.Whentheylettheairouttheymakethepeepingsound.Theyarealsoabletomakethatsoundseemlikeitcomesfromadifferentplacelikeaventriloquistsoanimalswhomaylikefrogfordinnercannoteasilyfindthem.Oncetheearlyspringmatingseasonisoverpeepersmoveintowoodlandareasforthesummertime.Wewillhavetowaituntilthenextspringtoenjoytheirspecialchorusonceagain.Tolearnmoreaboutthespringpeeperandlistentoitscallgotowww.seagrant.wisc.edufrogspeeper.htmlSpringpeepersareverytinyandhaveadarkstripeontheirbackthatformsanX.Photoreprintedfrompwconserve.orgTotherightPeepershaveslightlywebbedfeetandnoticeabledisksontheirfngersandtoes.Thesediskshelpthefrogsclimbtreesandotherplants.PhotobyDavidWrobelBySueEricksonStaffWriterFindthePeepersTherearesevenpeepershidinginthepicturebelow.CanyoufindthemallSeehowwelltheycancamouflagethemselves.Malespringpeepershavelargesacsundertheirchins.Theypumpthesesacsfullofairuntiltheylooklikeafullballoonthenletoutamightypeepastheylettheairout.PhotobyBrianLasenby