On a rainy night, I noticed this Tree Frog perched on the outside of one of our windows. After taking a photograph from inside the house, I went out in the rain to photograph it from the outside. (Try to manipulate a with a long lens, which needed to be focused manually, in the rain and hold an umbrella if you want to wish you had three hands!) I think this one is a Squirrel Tree Frog (Hyla squirella). The window on which it was perched was too high above the ground for me to capture it and examine it more closely. The Squirrel Tree Frog’s range is normally given as Coastal Plain, but it along with the Green Tree Frog (Hyla cinerea) has been extending its range onto the Piedmont in recent years (Our house is in the Piedmont near Athens, GA.) This range extension has been attributed to the return of the beaver, which produces ponds favorable for frogs, and increased numbers of farm ponds and reservoirs. We have plenty of Green Tree Frogs breeding in the lake behind our house, and we frequently see and hear them. The individual pictured here, however, lacks any of the characteristics that would positively identify it as a Green Tree Frog, so I am identifying it as a Squirrel Tree Frog by process of elimination.
This species’ call resembles one of the sounds that squirrels make, hence the common name. In the photograph on the left above, the expanded toe pads characteristic of tree frogs can be seen. These structures allow them to stick on very smooth surfaces, as in this case wet glass.
The generic name Hyla is from the Greek and means “of the woods”. The specific name squirella means “little squirrel”. So this is the “little squirrel of the woods”.