Kiya Richardson, 14, took this photo of a Pacific Chorus Frog as it sat on the edge of a bird bath at the home of George and Anne Marie Novinger.
Pacific Chorus Frogs are the only native frogs in the Tehachapi Mountains, and they get their common name from the nightly singing that the males do in late winter and early spring to attract females to an ephemeral pond for mating.
Amphibians like frogs and toads often use temporary pools to lay their eggs, because permanent bodies of water usually are home to fish, which prey on amphibian eggs and tadpoles. Leaving their fertilized eggs in small pools, seasonal creeks, deep puddles — and sometimes even bird baths and dog water dishes — reduces the chance of predation.
Pacific Chorus Frogs (Pseudacris regilla) are also known as Pacific Treefrogs, which a poor choice for a name because they are seldom found in trees, unlike other amphibians referred to as "tree frogs."
While they aren't found in trees very often, Pacific Chorus Frogs have round toe pads (visible in the close-up photo) which enables them to be good climbers. They may use these toe pads to enable them to spend the day in concealment while adhering to the side of some vertical surface, like a cattail stalk, wall or flower pot.
The Nuwä (Kawaiisu or Southern Paiute) word for Pacific Chorus Frog is waagita, pronounced waw-git, which is a good approximation of the sound that they make.
NATURAL SIGHTINGS is a regular feature of the Tehachapi News edited by Jon Hammond which showcases photos of the natural beauty that enhances the quality of life in Tehachapi. If you have a good quality image of plants, animals, insects, trees, birds, weather phenomena, etc., taken in the Tehachapi area, you may submit it to the Tehachapi News for possible publication. Submissions can be dropped by the News office in the form of a print or CD, or sent by email to: email@example.com.