Carolina Wren vs. Rio Grande Chirping Frogs

Most frogs don't sound much like birds and most birds don't sound much like frogs.  However, you do come across a few calls that could potentially by confused.   

One such possible confusing pair is one I came across accidentally while recording bird calls in Palmetto State Park in Texas one winter day.   I happened to be recording the sounds of a foraging Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus).  

As it foraged it made a short series of trills that sounded like this:

Even though I have recorded Carolina Wren calls before, this was the first time I had ever heard these short trills and I was immediately reminded of the trills of the Rio Grande Chirping Frog (Eleutherodactylus cystignathoides).

While the two calls are certainly not identical, they are superficially similar and since the wren is prone to give many variations of its various calls, it is worth stopping to consider which species you could be hearing.  And while wrens are diurnal and the Chirping Frogs call most often after dark, they will occasionally call after daytime rains.  And both can be heard calling from similar woodland habitat.   Probably not an error many people would make, more of a curiousity to someone like me who spends a lot of time listening!


© Chris Harrison 2016


  1. Interesting. I had never noticed Carolina Wrens making that sound before, but their repertoire is extremely varied.

  2. If it had been close to dusk (when Carolina Wrens are still making noise) and I hadn't been watching, I honestly might have identified it as an Eleutherodactylus.