Finding and Watching Frogs: Tips and Tricks for Getting Up Close and Personal

If frogs are what float your proverbial boat, get on board for these quick, cheap and easy ways to enjoy searching for, and watching the green guys in action. From what to pack, when to go and how to look, finding and watching your favorite amphibians can be just as easy as it is fun.

When should you go?

Head out at dawn or dusk. Frogs enjoy the cooler temperatures at these times, as well as the limited sunlight.

What should you pack?

Pack a flashlight and your camera. If possible, bring a camera with a good zoom lens, and one that is sturdy enough to withstand possible light moisture or being dropped on uneven or muddy terrain.

It’s also wise to pack a dry cloth or towel to wipe yourself (exposed legs, and face especially) or your equipment should either become damp, and a good bug repellent.

Some people also enjoy bringing along a notebook and writing instrument to make notes, or a small tape recorder to capture any unusual frog calls.

What should you do before heading out?

Apply your bug repellent, liberally!

Where should you look for frogs?

Start at the potential frog-spots closest to home. This may be your own backyard. If you come up empty on your own property, spread out your search to include local ponds, bogs, wetlands, lakes, park or gardens, and even heavily wooded areas (especially when searching for tree frogs). Be sure the property is public before you head out.

How should you look?

Begin by carefully going along the edges of flower beds and backyard ponds. Move slowly and deliberately, gradually trailing your flashlight beams up and down the area you are searching in. Frogs are notoriously timid creatures and loud noises or sudden moves will startle them off very quickly.

Sometimes, the best way to track and eventually find a frog is to stop and listen. Frog calls, songs and croaks are distinct and meant to carry in the open air. They are easily identifiable, and quite easily followed with a little bit of practice.

What should I do once I’ve found a frog?

When you have found your specimen, slowly and methodically, remove your camera and get a great shot of the frog. If the frog is singing or croaking, you may wish to use your mini-recorder to capture the sounds. Make any specific notes about marking, species or area.

Slowly but surely, you’ll be able to differentiate between species, and may even be inclined to start a frog watching scrapbook.

What can I do to get more info?

Hit your local library, bookstore or video rental shop for documentaries. Go on fact finding missions online!  Google ‘frog’, ‘ampihibian’ and search for specific tidbits of interest.  A great resource A great resource for all-things-frog is the National Wildlife Federation’s Frogwatch USA program.  his is a frog ‘club’ of sorts. Devoted completely to frog and amphibian conservation it’s complimented by a comprehensive website that is chocked full of frog facts, in-depth information, fun things to do and how to frog watch in your specific state and area. It’s also an awesome place to research and identify the critters you may come across in your hunt.

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