The more I take pictures of animals, the more I'm learning that a huge part of wildlife photography involves embracing the unexpected. There's a local park near my apartment where my girlfriend and I have happened upon a lot of amazing animals, including a pair of ducks that likes to swim regularly in the same pond. In a pretty typical noobie photographer move, one afternoon I decided to go down with a camera to see if I could photograph the pair. While I had no luck with the ducks, it wasn't long before I noticed some other residents around the pond who were looking pretty photogenic.
Green Frogs (Rana clamitans) are one of the most common species of frog in the northeastern United States. They can often be seen hanging out around ponds, streams, swamps, and lakes. Their most distinguishing characteristic is two dorsolateral ridges that extend from just behind the eardrum to about two-thirds of the way down their back. Despite the name, these frogs can be found in various colors like green, brown, bronze, yellowish-green, and even blue.
Green frogs are able to produce as many as six different vocalizations during mating season, including the signature "banjo twang" made by males. When startled, they usually make for the nearest water, where they'll hide along the bottom beneath whatever muck they can find. Green Frogs tend to be a little less skittish than their larger cousins the American Bullfrog, and will very often pop back up to the surface a few minutes later to check out what's going on.
Fun Fact: As with many other species of frogs, there are several visible differences between male and female green frogs. One of the easiest indicators is the frog's tympanum, or eardrum. Males have a larger ear than females. You can also usually tell from the coloration on the underside of the frog's chin. The chin of males is a yellow hue, while females have a white coloration. Can you tell which is which below?
Photo taken May 2015 - Yorktown Heights, NY