Big Night: The Amphibian Story

Every spring salamanders, wood frogs and spring peepers awaken to begin the life cycle again. On the first rainy night when the temperature rises to about 45-50 degrees, hundreds of thousands of these creatures leave their underground winter burrows and make the journey to their birthplace. The movement of the amphibians is called "Big Night." People all over the Northeast come out to watch this phenomenon, often stopping traffic to allow hundreds of salamanders to cross roads in pouring rain. Mass Audubon's Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary will celebrate this amphibian migration with its sixth annual Big Night Extravaganza on the evenings of April 4 and April 5.

Friday tours begin every 15 minutes from 6:30pm until 8:30pm. Saturday tours begin at 6:00pm and end at 8:30pm, leaving from the Nature Center every 15 minutes. Guided groups will stroll the outdoor, lantern-lit trails where they will encounter costumed characters, such as bellowing bull frogs and dancing salamanders waiting to tell visitors about their lives as amphibians. Inside Stony Brook's Nature Center there will be live specimens, amphibian crafts, a slide show on the animals that live in vernal pools, and refreshments. Cost: $6 for Mass Audubon members; $8 for non-members. Pre-registration is required. Please call 508-528-3140 to sign up for a specific tour time, or stop by the sanctuary to register in person.


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