Notes from the Field: Summer 2021

In Animal Tracks, Bats, Birds, Carden Alvar, Citizen Science, Climate Change, Fauna, Featured, Flora, Frogs, Insects, Internship, Invasive Species, Nature Reserves, Properties, Property Maintenance, Salamanders, Species at Risk, Stewardship, Summer, Turtles, Uncategorized, Vernal Pools, Water by couchiching

Left to right: Nancy Chong and Ruth Henderson. Photo: T. Rowland

When the bugs are biting, and you’re thinking twice about going out in the forest, you have to remember that there are always interesting things to find that will (hopefully) make you forget about the buzzing insects for a while!

This was the case when Ruth, Nancy, and Toby went out in search of Salamanders and their eggs. Once out at the salamander monitoring site they started finding and identifying Spotted Salamander egg masses, found a few Green Frogs here and there and also the odd Eastern Newt darting away. One newt in particular stuck around and was behaving differently than the others. After crouching down in the water to get a video they realized that it was a male Eastern Newt displaying to a female! In the video below, you can see the male has a deep tail fin which he is undulating in order to attract a female. You can also see his back legs are much bigger with hard black pads. These form so he can hold onto the female. You can see that at one point he deposits a spermatophore, which she didn’t seem too interested in. After a while the female seemed to realize that she could find a better display elsewhere and moved on!