Engaged in yard work on this beautiful April day, I nearly stepped on an American toad as it made its way across the lawn. Stirred from its winter slumber by the recent warm weather and heavy rains, this common amphibian will soon be joining his/her cohorts at a seasonal pond.
Males will arrive first, trilling to attract potential mates. Eggs and sperm will then be released into the fishless pool, giving rise to small black tadpoles which will undergo metamorphosis to toadlets within 60 days. Mating season generally lasts into mid summer, weather permitting.
Adults and young will then disperse across the landscape, consuming a wide variety of insects and other terrestrial invertebrates. The toads, themselves, may fall victim to snakes, herons, raccoons, hawks (especially red-shouldered hawks) and, of course, careless humans.