Western toad

Western Toad- Paul Hara

Bufo boreas

Western toads live throughout California in many different habitats.  However, they may be hard to find.  Toads spend a lot of time underground and are mostly nocturnal (active at night).

Why live underground?  Toads, like all amphibians, require a damp environment.  Burrows also provide a safe place to hide from predators such as coyotes, foxes, owls, and ravens.

Will you get warts from kissing a toad?  No, but you might get sick.  When threatened, Western toads secrete a milky poison from special glands located behind the eyes.  This poison is not usually strong enough to kill, but the bitter taste does warn predators that toads are not good to eat.

Like most amphibians, Western toads have two lives—one under water and one on land.  Tadpoles emerge from eggs in watery pools and live in water, breathing through gills and feeding on aquatic plants.  After about two months, tadpoles begin to change into toads—this is called metamorphosis. Once on land, western toads will feast on almost anything they can swallow—insects, beetles, ants, slugs, crayfish, spiders, even tadpoles.

Lindsay Wildlife has two resident western toads, Tilden and Briones, named after two local regional parks that are home to a variety of wildlife, including western toads.