Communications Coordinator

A spring peeper and its air sac expanded for its lurve-in song! Photo Al Staffan

“D’yawannit, d’yawannit, d’yawannit, d’yawannit…”

Hundreds of ‘em, no thousands of ‘em, spring peepers, all driven by the most grotesque libido, gathered together liked crazed Dionysians and shouting at the top of their lungs demanding satisfaction…

“D’yawannit, d’yawannit, d’yawannit, d’yawannit…”

They’re no bigger than a paper clip, just an inch long at most, and yet the sound just a single one of them produces is ten to fifteen-times louder than the busiest street in our biggest cities! And that’s just one o’ the little blighters! And they never stop. A full 100 decibels just from one of them, and there are thousands gathered together in frenetic desire, pushing out their incessant demands to every female spring peeper within earshot…

“D’yawannit, d’yawannit, d’yawannit, d’yawannit…”

It’s the throat pouches, or air sacs, which gives the spring peepers, and their equally clamorous cousins, the chorus frogs, their overpowering, ear splitting resonance. They have a larynx, of a kind, with flaps of tissue that vibrate and make their sounds, and the air sacs amplify the sound massively, enough to drive anyone mad, yep, humans as well as girl peepers.

“D’yawannit, d’yawannit, d’yawannit, d’yawannit…”

And what’s a girl peeper to do? Nature is nature, after all! Preservation of the species, and all that good naturey stuff! It’s in the genes, innit? But satisfaction is fleeting. The libido is ceaseless. Nights of love, of lurve…! They’re coming to a vernal pool near you, and all the peepers are up for it. Well, almost all the peepers.


“Thank our lucky stars for these noise cancellin’ headphones,” said Liz Peeper, one of a band of tech-savvy girl peepers just chillin’ in the April starlight.

“What, did you say something?” asked Holly Peeper. She made the mistake of taking off the close-fitting headphones that perfectly fitted the tympanum on either side of her head. The tympanum is like an ear drum on the outside of the body, a membrane that vibrates and sends the auditory signals to the peeper’s inner ears.

“D’yawannit, d’yawannit, d’yawannit, d’yawannit…”

“Oh love a duck!” Holly screeched. “Do they never stop?”

“Never in a month o’ Sundays, no,” Liz obliged. ‘Perpetual motion.”

“Perpetual ear ache, more like!”

“Will you be quiet, the pair of you. I’m trying to watch m’ program here,” Jill Peeper complained. American Idle was on the Peeper Channel. And Jill loved her Peeper Channel.

“D’yawannit, d’yawannit, d’yawannit, d’yawannit…”

“Some years they’re like this all the way through the middle of May,” Camille Peeper proferred, while snatching a handful of pork scratchings from the snack bowl. “I’m glad I won’t be mesmerized by it this year!”

“So are we all,” said Liz.

“With ya, sister!” Holly added, with a high five.

“All hail noise cancellation,” Camille yelled happily.

“Yeah, right, now shut it you lot and let me watch m’ program,” Jill grumbled.

Television for amphibians is admittedly a stretch, but not as much of a stretch as those darned air sacs. They expand greatly with every breath a peeper takes and sound just echoes around in there, magnifying massively in decibels, and keeps on pouring right out into the night air!

“D’yawannit, d’yawannit, d’yawannit, d’yawannit…”

If you live near to a vernal pool or a spring peeper breeding ground, you might know to your cost what it’s like to put up with the incessant melody of the spring peeper lurve-in! Just get yourself a pair of noise-cancelling headphones and be happy. Happy April, everybody!

Vernal pools, like this one at Battelle Darby Creek, are ideal breeding grounds for spring peepers, chorus frogs, and many other amphibians. Photo Kristen Vonderwish

2 thoughts on “TALL TALES FROM THE DEEP WOODS – The Peepers

  1. Hello, I love the sound of spring and the peepers are definitely on the list of favorites. Several summers ago, we had a chorus of peepers and frogs in our small feature pond in our backyard But the last few summers, we haven’t had any choral music From these little peepers and other frogs. How do we attract them back? Is there a way to get them to come back to breed here in the spring?

  2. Props for “grotesque libido”!… Band Name?
    Thank you for this wonderful post! Prompts me to get out to one of our local VPs, here in Washington DC.

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