Cricket song is a common sound in late summer and fall at the refuge. The singing is done by males, primarily to attract females, by scraping one forewing against the other, somewhat like a violinist with a bow. The females hear the sound with eardrums located near the "knees" on their forelegs.
Field crickets are small (up to an inch long) and black or brown. The different species look very similar -- so much so that only one species was thought to exist until their calls were finally studied. The variety of species is still not completely known.
Above: Male fall field cricket. © Copyright Thomas J. Walker