An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

American Toad Succumbs To Winter Challenges

Last fall most American Toads burrowed below the frost line, digging backwards one to two feet into the ground before beginning their winter hibernation. This spring, as soon as the temperature is consistently above 40°F., they will emerge.

Unfortunately, it seems that the pictured toad emerged too early during one of our warm spells this winter (of which there were many). One can’t know for sure, but it looks as though this is what happened, and without an adequate food supply it died of starvation or froze when the temperature dropped back down.  To the left of the desiccated toad is some scat which looks very much like American Toad scat to me.

Naturally Curious is supported by donations. If you choose to contribute, you may go to http://www.naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com and click on the yellow “donate” button.

5 responses

  1. A timely reminder about the perils of leaving your burrow before it’s safe to do so!

    April 1, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    • So well put! Wish I had thought of that!!!

      April 1, 2020 at 1:06 pm

  2. Jennifer Waite

    Indeed, yikes!

    April 1, 2020 at 2:14 pm

  3. Bunny

    He looks too desiccated to have just been out since the warm-up. I have found toads just under leaves in the snow and they are semi solid like tough marshmallows and then they thaw out and are fine. Not sure what happened to this old guy.

    April 1, 2020 at 5:06 pm

  4. nancy sommer

    Please no more depressing items in these awful times

    On Wed, Apr 1, 2020 at 12:24 PM Naturally Curious with Mary Holland wrote:

    > Mary Holland posted: ” Last fall most American Toads burrowed below the > frost line, digging backwards one to two feet into the ground before > beginning their winter hibernation. This spring, as soon as the temperature > is consistently above 40°F., they will emerge. Unfortu” >

    April 2, 2020 at 3:28 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s