• American Camp parade ground looking west

    San Juan Island

    National Historical Park Washington

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • American and English Camps Visitor Centers Open Labor Day

    The American and English camps visitor centers will be open on the Labor Day holiday, September 1. Call 360-378-2240, ext. 2226 or 360-378-4409 for information.

  • English Camp Visitor Contact Station on Winter Schedule

    The English Camp visitor contact station in the Royal Marine Barracks is closed for the season, starting September 2. Grounds are open daily from dawn to 11 p.m.

  • American Camp Visitor Center on Winter Schedule

    The American Camp visitor center is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from September 2 to June 6, 2015. Grounds remain open daily from dawn to 11 p.m. Telephone 360-378-2240, ext. 2227 or 2226 for information. More »


The Pacific chorus frog is tiny, but has a mighty croak after dark.
BigStock Photo

Pacific Chorus Frog

Begin listening for the throaty, two-syllable croak of the Pacific chorus frog in early spring, when the males call to attract females. Even though they’re small—only one to two inches long—their voices are mighty and carry across the marshes and wetlands.

These frogs have shiny, smooth skin and long back legs, and coloration varies, depending on the background. They can be fluorescent lime green, brown, tan, or grey, and can change color to blend in with their surroundings. This is critical, because they have many predators, from snakes to raccoons to owls.

Mostly nocturnal, you’ll have to look closely during the day. They are usually found close to the ground, camoflauged in grasses and shrubs. But look high as well as low: they often climb stalks of grasses and reeds on their sticky toe pads in search of prey. How do they snag mosquitoes, spiders, beetles, and other insects? With a flick of their sticky tongues.

Spring is when you’ll see tiny clusters of eggs—clear with dark specks—on sticks and grasses in shallow water. In late summer or early fall, you may even see groups of tadpoles hopping across roads to the forests on newly sprouted legs. In winter, they hibernate in warm places such as piles of leaves, logs, and mud.


Did You Know?

Capt. Lewis Cass Hunt

Capt. Lewis Cass Hunt, who squabbled with Capt. George E. Pickett over buildings on San Juan Island, was the brother of Henry Hunt, who commanded the Union artillery at the Battle of Gettysburg. Hunt's guns would largely decimate Pickett's division before they reached the Union lines.