Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 07/02/2015

Photo taken on June 30, 2015

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Bufo boreas
NW of Calgary
near river
Boreal Toad
5.6 - 13 cm long
white/cream dorsal stripe
dark blotches
Status: Near Threatened
Judy Osborne's property
N of Sundre
30 June 2015
Western Toad
James River
front view
under a log

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Western Toad / Boreal Toad / Bufo boreas

Western Toad / Boreal Toad / Bufo boreas
During a day of botanizing the day before yesterday, 30 June 2015, at the property belonging to Judy Osborne - James River, N. of Sundre - this rather fine Western/Boreal Toad was spotted. As you can see, it can camouflage itself very well, even more so when not seen in macro size. Love its "smile".

Just three of us went with Judy to visit her cabin (or, as she describes it, her "shack") and the surrounding forest and river. What a beautiful property she has - 100 acres of forest, meadow, and river valley - and we so appreciate her having us there to record the plants, insects, birds, etc. that we could find. I've never seen so many beautiful wild Roses! She also has a Great Gray Owl, but there was no sign of it when we were there.

We are always happy to visit someone's land and compile a very detailed list of our findings for them. It's always a win/win situation - we enjoy what we are doing and love to explore a new location, and the owner ends up with a record of what was found on their property. Judy very generously provided a delicious lunch for us, too, which we ate out on the deck, surrounded by busy little Pine Siskins visiting her bird feeder. Thanks so much for this absolute treat, Judy, and for driving the three of us out there from our meeting place in the city.

We were so lucky with the weather, enjoying a day of sunshine. How things changed when we got back to Calgary. Our meeting place was near Chinook Mall and to drive home, I had to drive through flash flooding!! I don't remember ever having to drive through water like that! What a storm this part of the city must have had!

"The Western Toad or Boreal Toad (Bufo boreas) is a large toad species, between 5.6 and 13 cm long, of western North America. It has a white or cream dorsal stripe, and is dusky gray or greenish dorsally with skin glands concentrated within the dark blotches.
Compared to females, males have smoother skin, reduced dorsal blotching, and nuptial pads (thickened skin) on their forefeet during breeding season. In juveniles of this species, the dorsal stripe is weak or absent. Large young have prominent dorsal and ventral spotting and yellow feet.

Breeding occurs between March and July in mountainous areas, and as early as January in lower-elevation regions. The female lays up to 17,000 eggs stuck together in strings that adhere to vegetation and other objects along water edges ..... It is listed as near threatened largely due to the impact of disease and chemical contamination of the environment." From Wikipedia.