Singing Frogs at Moraine Hills State Park, IL

In the marshes and ponds of McHenry County’s Moraine Hills State Park the arrival of spring is accompanied by a chorus of singing frogs. While their calls are intended to attract female frogs during the mating season, I too found myself drawn in by the musical stylings of these little guys. Male frogs vocalize by squeezing their lungs with their nostrils and mouth shut causing air to flow over their vocal chords and into their vocal sacs. But just because their mouths are shut doesn’t mean they aren’t loud, especially when large numbers gather in prime locations. One spot I found to be particularly enjoyable is just off the Main Park Road. Head north from the Nature Center and Lake Defiance, across the road. Follow your ears! The noise carries quite far, surprisingly so, each voice contributing to waves of sound similar to that of the Midwest’s summer cicadas. There are several other areas of the park where quality frog habitat can be explored by hiking along the trails. Keep an eye on the path for baby turtle crossings and another eye in the sky for great blue herons. Moraine Hills comes to life in the spring, visually and aurally, and is a great time to visit for wildlife. The frogs will only be performing for a limited engagement, warmer temperatures mark the end of their breeding season. While you may occasionally hear them chirping throughout the summer, spring is when they really rock out.

Moraine Hills State Park




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