Natural History Topics - March

Green frog
Green frog in CVNP

©JOHN CATALANO

Amphibians on the Move
Imagine witnessing hundreds of salamanders and frogs making their annual trek to their breeding pools. A frog chorus resound fills the air and possibly heard more than a quarter mile away. This event typically unfolds during the first rainy night in early March, when temperatures are above 45 degrees F, nearly all the snow has melted, and the temporary forest (vernal) pools unfreeze. In Cuyahoga Valley National Park, there are two areas to experience the amphibians at their breeding pools. The first is along the Towpath Trail just south of the Beaver Marsh. Listen for the high whistle of the spring peeper sounding like sleigh bells in large choruses, and the unusual quack-like call of the wood frogs. The second location is by the two vernal pools at the base of the ravine near the east side of the Brandywine Creek, along the Brandywine Gorge Trail. See if you can spot Jefferson and spotted salamanders during the day. Please note that it is illegal to capture or disturb amphibians in the park.
 
Woodcock
Chubby and long-billed woodcock

COURTESY OHIO DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Also this Month
Male woodcocks have a chubby body and an exceptionally long bill. During the second half of the month, they perform sky dances at more than 300 feet in the air, approximately 20 minutes after sunset. It is best to observe this event looking towards the west so the dark birds appear silhouetted against the light sunset background. The two prime viewing locations are in the thicket meadows along the Buckeye Trail, south of Jaite Wayside, and along the Towpath Trail, where it intersects with the trail leading from Ira Trailhead.

Watch for returning waterfowl that stop at the Beaver Marsh on their northbound migrations. For the past four years, recorded observations list 12 different kinds of ducks, including hooded mergansers, ring-necks, green-wing teals, and buffleheads.

 

Last updated: April 10, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

15610 Vaughn Road
Brecksville, OH 44141

Phone:

(330) 657-2752

Contact Us