• American Camp parade ground looking west

    San Juan Island

    National Historical Park Washington

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  • 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 »

Amphibians

bigstockphoto_Pacific_Tree_Frog
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.

 
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Did You Know?

Winfield Scott

Lt. Gen. Winfield Scott's Mexican War campaign was a set-piece example for cadets in both Europe and North America, but he was most celebrated as a peacemaker. He had resolved two other Anglo_american border disputes before coming to San Juan Island. More...