A little rain....Balcones Bingo!

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chrish
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A little rain....Balcones Bingo!

Post by chrish » April 1st, 2013, 5:42 pm

I have been waiting for ANY rain to fall a little NW of where I live so I could go out and listen for this sound and get a recording -

Last night it rained 1 inch on the road I wanted so I bolted out there....



Craugastor augustii latrans - Balcones Barking Frogs calling!

Didn't actually see any, but I've seen them before, just never heard them. Here's an old photo for those who are more optical.

Image

Supposedly it will rain again tomorrow and the day after. Maybe I can get another shot at a photo?

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AtroxKR
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Re: A little rain....Balcones Bingo!

Post by AtroxKR » April 1st, 2013, 6:48 pm

Wow, I didn't even know these existed! I really need to get up on my Amphibians. I live near the Balcones Canyonlands preserve, should they be around there as well?

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chrish
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Re: A little rain....Balcones Bingo!

Post by chrish » April 1st, 2013, 7:18 pm

They should be there, looking at their range map. This range map (http://www.herpsoftexas.org/content/barking-frog) shows records for the county, so they would certainly be worth looking for. They are usually found in steep canyons with large rocky walls. If you go on a rainy/wet night in the next few weeks, you might be able to hear them calling. It almost sounds like a dog barking in the distance and it carries a long way.

They are amazing frogs. They can be tough to find, even when calling because their calls echo and they call from caves and cracks in rocks.
I have found them on roads after heavy rain.

Good luck looking. I hope you find some.

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Re: A little rain....Balcones Bingo!

Post by AtroxKR » April 1st, 2013, 7:23 pm

Awesome, I'll check for some. Sounds like habitat similar to Cliff Chirping frogs, shouldn't be too hard to find if they are around.

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Re: A little rain....Balcones Bingo!

Post by AtroxKR » April 1st, 2013, 7:24 pm

Awesome, I'll check for some. Sounds like habitat similar to Cliff Chirping frogs, shouldn't be too hard to find if they are around.

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chrish
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Re: A little rain....Balcones Bingo!

Post by chrish » April 2nd, 2013, 5:59 am

AtroxKR wrote:Awesome, I'll check for some. Sounds like habitat similar to Cliff Chirping frogs, shouldn't be too hard to find if they are around.
Yes, but Cliff Chirpers are a little more habitat generalist. You will find Cliff Chirpers in places where there are no Craugastor. Also, can you access Balcones NWR after sunset? Some refuges are open after dark, some aren't.

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Re: A little rain....Balcones Bingo!

Post by AtroxKR » April 2nd, 2013, 6:50 am

Not sure, I haven't been yet. There's two different ones over here within 15 min or less of each other. I'll have to look that up.

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Re: A little rain....Balcones Bingo!

Post by Tom Lott » April 2nd, 2013, 8:04 am

Congratulations, Chris - great recording.

I've found them reliably in caves all year round, since that environment doesn't change much with the seasons. During rainy spells (wishful thinking), I've even found them under limestone boulders and slabs.

I have also noticed, as was pointed out by someone else a while ago, that the farther away from the frog you are, the more it sounds like a barking dog, while the closer you are, the less so. Apparently the lower-pitched tones of the call carry farther than the higher ones. The excellent CD that comes with Lang Elliott et al.'s The Frogs and Toads of North America (2009) illustrates an "intermediate" call nicely.

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Re: A little rain....Balcones Bingo!

Post by chrish » April 2nd, 2013, 8:42 am

Tom Lott wrote:I have also noticed, as was pointed out by someone else a while ago, that the farther away from the frog you are, the more it sounds like a barking dog, while the closer you are, the less so. Apparently the lower-pitched tones of the call carry farther than the higher ones.
I actually recorded the difference that night. I think the "complexities" of the call don't travel as well leaving the impression of a simple dog-like bark.
I measured some distances (using Google Earth) from my microphone (shotgun mic) to the frogs based on where I estimated they were from getting as close as I could. I had exact GPS coordinates for where I was recording and by getting close to the hillsides, I was able to triangulate the frog to within a reasonably small area of hillside (say within 50 feet).

Here's a couple of frogs I first noticed from right on 4000 feet away (really, 3/4 of a mile! I told you their calls carry!)

The call is obviously amplified and you hear other noises like people in the valley below where the frog was calling. Easily confused with a dog, except for the regularity of the call.




Here's the same two frogs from about 550 feet away -




And here's two different individuals that were less than 150 feet away. You can hear that the call has two syllables from here.




150 feet is still a long way, but I can hear a difference even there.

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