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Apr 13,2007
Wildlife Viewfinder Guide: Brother, sing on!
by Tim Herd

The vocal stylings of the little, unassuming Pacific chorus frog appears uncredited in a supporting role in many old Hollywood films. The males' familiar kreck-ek call adds an air of authentic outdoor charm to what otherwise is usually make-believe.

That is, of course, unless the movie is set outside the frog's natural range. He is neither migrant nor much of a traveler, and he tends to stick to the sides of low shrubs and grasses with his toe pads. However, the little songster with the call heard 'round the world is a key member of the local wetland community players, co-starring daily in the demanding dual roles of both predator and prey.

In his off-season (and especially during rain), he produces a leisurely one-note kr-r-rek call from poolside. But now in peak production, he inflates his throat pouch to as much as three times the size of his head and sings lustily night and day. His call beckons breeding females, who are irresistibly drawn to the romantic ballad and who, before long, attach loose pouches of 10-80 eggs to sticks or stems in quiet water.  The rest, as they say, is history.

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