Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Night crawling

"Hey there's a cool frog, come and get a picture!"

Actually it turned out to be a toad, Fowler's Toad (Bufo fowleri).

More info is here.

Until I got inside and looked it up, I thought it was an American Toad. But they've only got one or two warts per dark spot, and this guy had up to five. I only got one shot of his back, and it wasn't a great one, but works for ID purposes.

After deciding he was a Fowler's Toad, I listened to a sound recording.

And realized that there must have been another one nearby - we'd heard him calling while photographing this one. Their sound has been described as a bleating sheep with a cold. (I'll bet it sounds lovely to other Fowler's Toads though.)

In other nighttime activities of the week, we saw Barn Owls in Cullman, at my in-laws'. I was surprised that they'd hang around in residential neighborhood for so long, but evidently they've been there a while.

I tried to get a picture, but my camera doesn't really "do" full dark, even with a flashlight assist.

See the owls? No? Me neither.

I did get a sound recording. Despite being able to glide and even flap their wings in total silence (the better to sneak up on mice), they were a pretty mouthy bunch. Their hissing and screeching was almost otherworldly. If you heard it coming from behind you in a barn at night, you'd have no trouble believing a ghost was hard on your tail.

If I can figure out how to post it here, I will.


Rurality said...

Note: As is the tradition with all things Blogger, the "upload pictures" feature only works about one out of ten times. So it's back to "Hello" for pictures until they get things straightened out.

swamp4me said...

IDing some toad species can be a real pain in the pa-tooty unless you can hear them call :)

Nice pics of the Fowlers -- I haven't heard them calling here, but it has been very dry lately.

robin andrea said...

Great looking toad. Love those eyes. Too bad we can't see the barn owls too.
I don't think blogger will let us post recordings. We just switched ISPs recently and our account comes with 125 mb of web space. Yesterday we experimented with uploading mp3s to the space, and then putting a link in a blogger post. It worked. If you have a webspace somewhere you could try that.

Rurality said...

RD Last time I posted an audio file from my soap site, I used up my allotment of traffic in no time flat and had to pay extra that month. Whoops.

But I think I might have some space somewhere else, now that I think about it - will have to investigate.

I was kind of hoping there would be some way I could squeeze it in there in the form of an audioblog... if anyone knows how, let me know.

Anonymous said...

Toad!!! Awww, woodgie-coos!

We have barn owls about five or six urban blocks from us, nesting in a hole in a palm tree in a nonprofit infill housing development. The kids come out and roost in a cedar next door and screech-hiss for dinner at dusk. We visited them last night, in spite of the firecrackers and such all around. They did seem upset.

robin andrea said...

The only thing I know about audio blog is that it lets you use the telephone to record an audio. We used it once to record some music we wanted on a post by holding the phone up to the speakers. It worked, but I think the quality wasn't very high.

SantaBarbarian said...

That's one good looking froggy....

R.Powers said...

Great toad shots. So clear and sharp! Earlier this spring there was a mass toad mating party down at my pond. The sound of their trilling was so loud that it almost heart your ears if you were close to them. For one night the pond was filled with coupled toads. The next night was quiet with only a toad or two.
I had trouble (gave up) with Blogger's new "upload pictures" feature also. Take care.

Anonymous said...

I don't s'pose you kissed that toad, did you? My wife has been lookin' for prince charmin' and I thought that might be him. S'pose not. Oh well, I guess she's stuck with me for a while longer.

Rurality said...

Thanks y'all.

Ron I think those Barn owls are mocking me, not living near us in barns, but in the suburbs instead. The nerve!

FC it rained here last night and the chorus was so loud! I wanted to get a sound recording, but it was raining too hard. Not to mention lightning.

Kissed the toad?! No way! If my husband is reading this, I'm sure I'll get brownie points by saying, "I've already got my prince charming." :)

Anonymous said...

what a solid and steady looking fellow! my only experience with barn owls is the nested pair with a single chick that i found in a half rotted old cottonwood tree last summer.

Karen said...

Umm... What's the difference between a toad and a frog? (I'll go Google it, I just wanted you to know I'd been here and was wondering! :)

Karen said...

Okay: frogs = smooth and slimy, live mostly in water. Toads = dry and bumpy, live mostly on land.

Dave said...

That first pic in particular is GREAT!

Rurality said...

Karen thanks for answering your own question LOL.

Thanks Dave. That's the "use the ground as a tripod" method. :)