An initiative of Earthwatch Institute

Frog talks to computer!

By Rachel Maitland.

I have been recording observations for ClimateWatch on a Striped Marsh Frog in my backyard pond for over a year now. Usually there is just the one frog though, particularly on summer evenings after rain, there can be a whole chorus! Needless to say I have become quite tuned in to their familiar “tuk” call.

The other day however I was struck by a different sound coming from the pond that I wasn’t familiar with. It sounded like a cackle, if not a little like a machine gun. ‘What is this?’ I said to myself. My instincts told me it was likely a frog, so I jumped on the ClimateWatch website to search for other frog species found in the Sydney region. Being the coordinator of ClimateWatch I had my fingers crossed it would be another indicator species I can start recording on! My searching came across a frog called the Peron’s Tree Frog, and its call is described as a maniacal cackle “cra-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ahhk”. ‘Sounds promising’, I thought. So I played the audio file for this species and sure enough, a familiar cackle resounded from my computer. However, the next thing that happened still astonishes, and amuses, me today. You see, my computer is located right next to a window, which happened to be open, and right outside the window is the pond. Once the audio on the computer played, the cackling frog in my backyard called back! So much to my delight, there is now another ClimateWatch species that I can start recording on, right in my backyard!

I encourage everyone to keep a listen out for any calls in their backyard or even in a nearby park that has a water body, and see if you can use the audio calls on the ClimateWatch website to identify any frog, or even bird, species.  any frog, or even bird, species.   You just never know, some frogs may start talking to your computer too!

Peron's Tree Frog
Peron's Tree Frog.

Have you had an interesting ClimateWatch experience? Contact Us with your story and we will feature it.