Saturday, September 26, 2009

American Toad (Bufo americanus)

This evening I found this little American Toad (Bufo americanus) outside my basement door. It is raining out now and it was sitting next to the dog door, just out of the rain. The light shines through the door and I believe the toad comes to feed on the insects that are attracted to the light. I raise mealworms to feed birds so I thought the Toad would enjoy an easy treat. I love to watch them catch their food. If the worm is just sitting next to the toad and not moving it is safe but once movement is detected one quick slurp of that toad tongue and the worm is toast. Then the toad looks like it is chewing the worm, I'm not sure how that works. Once it is the right size or whatever measure the toad uses, it closes its eyes, takes a big gulp and it is ready for the next tasty morsel. In addition to mealworms they have a delicious diet of earthworms, ants, spiders, slugs and other small invertebrates.


Cold weather is approaching and soon this little toad, which now resides under my deck, will find a place to dig backwards into soft soil and hibernate for the winter. I suspect it will make its way to my garden because the soil is soft and fluffy. One of my friends often finds them in her compost pile. So this spring I will need to be careful if I dig in my garden early to get a head start on snow peas.



I think the toad at my back door is a female because females are usually lighter in color and have white or light colored throats. Their skin is permeable which enables them to absorb water and oxygen but that means it is also vulnerable to toxins in the air and soil. I don’t fertilize my soil so it is pretty safe here. I wish I could control the air quality as well.





See more camera critters here.

10 comments:

Denise said...

He certainly is a handsome toad and you have captured him beautifully Squirrel. Thanks for stopping by my blog and identifying the hawk I took. I love your blog and look forward to coming back.

Tulip said...

love his yellow color.

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Adrienne in Ohio said...

Wow, love her color. I have a few toads in the flowerbed, but nothing this big.

Santa and Minnie said...

Thanks for visiting my camera critter post. Yes, that's a housefly, a big one indeed! We do have a lot of those critters in our part of the world...and we do not like them as they are a pain in the neck during our mealtimes!

Janie said...

Toads are unappreciated critters, but your guy is a handsome one. I'm glad you're looking after him. Cute photos!

Joy said...

Your toad photos are terrific!

Rae said...

Great shots. I like the info too. I have toads living around my shed. I always wondered how they survived the winter. Thanks for sharing.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

SQ: Your toad is a treat, it is a big fellow.

Tammie Lee said...

Thank you for sharing your tale and also educating us. Fun to have friends in nature.

Michelle said...

You have some amazing animal photography! Thanks for sharing:)