Help - Which critter has been eating my baby frogs?

I’ve received ~30 Green Frog tadpoles over the past month. My wife and I simply love frogs, and each year we’ve worked very hard to make the best home possible for both the fish and frogs in our little pond. All of the baby frogs were actually still tadpoles, but had arms/legs and were about to become air breathers. Sadly, since their expected maturation date passed, we’ve seen none sitting on lily pads or in the pebble beach area. However, as we think back to the past month, each time we’d see a tadpole on the pebble beach (it’s the perfect area for them as there’s lots of algae and it’s warmer than the rest of the pond), they’d disappear by the next day. This morning, much to my chagrin (but no surprise), I found a half eaten tadpole on the flagstone in front of the pebble beach. I was out positioning the garden hose so I’m sure I interrupted someone’s feeding time.

The question I pose to you? Which critter do you think has been eating them? All of the following bathe and/or drink out of the pebble beach area.


  • Grackles
  • Robins
  • Cardinals
  • Morning Doves
  • Sparrows


  • Chipmunks
  • Squirrels

Yes, I know Sparrows seems ridiculous, but I added them for completeness sake. Thanks for the help!

Can you raise the pollywogs inside until they’re actually frogs?

The obvious choice to go for are cats. Herons tend to really like tadpoles for lunch as well.

Second cats. Where do you live? That could help us find the culprit. Getting them to stop is a simpler, though probably less aesthetically pleasing affair: cover the pond with chicken wire.

Each other?

I raised frogs in a fish tank, indoors once. We started with 50 or so little guys, ended up with about 4 frogs.

Worst example of that was my native-stocked aquarium, full of perch, a soft shelled turtle, and a crawdad (Crayfish). All the fish died mysteriously, and so it was narrowed down to the turtle or the crayfish. Then the turtle, which was very cute, kicked the bucket - and Mr. Crayfish just sat there all alone snapping his claws content in his spear-won (or claw-won) dominion. He earned a trip to the toilet for that one.

Heh, that sounds like the AP Bio classroom aquarium way back in high school, where we had a couple crayfish and several assorted fish. Then an oscar was added to the tank, and within a week all the other fish were gone. A day or two later one of the crayfish was missing an arm, and the oscar’s fins were a little cut up. The next day the only ones left were the oscar and one really tough bastard of a crayfish.

On a related backyard note, I killed around 20 carpenter bees on my back deck with my bare hands this weekend. You can kill em quick by swatting fast and making nunchuku scene Enter The Dragon sounds. The males are really, really aggressive, they will buzz right up to your face and hover there like little helicopters. At one point I started into this primal rage making Godzilla sounds, swatting the little fuckers down. Bastards are tearing up the underhang on my gutter.

Then I found out the males don’t have stingers, and it was less dumb redneck manly and more like the F-18s against the alien ship from Independence Day, pre Powerbook virus.

Oh well. They still needed to go. Poor little bastards.

It’s not a chipmunk or a squirrel. Given where you live, it’s probably a cat or a raccoon. If it was an owl or some other sort of bird, it wouldn’t’ve eaten it right by the pond – it’d swoop down, grab lunch, then go up to a tree or a rooftop somewhere to munch on it.

I raised bees once, and it was pretty neat getting honey out of their combs later in the year. Of course the bastards became africanized a short time later and swarmed everyone during a barbeque. So i had to caulk up their hive and drown them. Sucks, but can’t let them, you know, kill someone.

Biting in half is pretty indicative of a cat. I find mice bitten in half all the time (i guess, you know, once a year) by cats.

They buzzed you in your face and they don’t have stingers? Those are some courageous motherfucking bees.


I like bees, I raise them for the fur.

Baby frogs are the peanuts of the animal kingdom. It would be easier to list the carni/omnivores that don’t snack on them.

Actually it’s the mischevious fox that’s been eating your baby frogs. By the way, did you see Bambi?

Bambi bought it.

The french eat frogs and they don’t like Americans.
Just sayin’!

I’m sure Cleve considers this a very useful allegory.

It’s obviously Twiddlebugs.


Well, I should have clairified. When I first looked out, there were no half eaten tadpoles on the flagstone (the frog beach area is right under our bedroom window). From the time I looked, to when I went out - was about 5 minutes. I saw a Grackle and Robin hopping around the area. My primary suspect (for the dead drowned baby birds we find in the pond) is the Grackles.

I like “Traveling through the dark” better.

How do bees become “Africanized” - it’s not like the Killer bees got their hive with a Culture Bomb or anything - aren’t your bees gone and the “killer” bees have killed them all and are living in the hive?