Happy (Natural) Mother’s Day

English: Bison bison. Original caption: "...

English: Bison bison. Original caption: “scientists are helping users of American rangelands meet the challenge of managing multiple uses sustainably.”) Français : Un bison, image prise par Jack Dykinga pour l’USDA. Légende originale de l’USDA: Les scientifiques aident les utilisateurs des pâturages américains à relever le défi de la gestion multiusage durable. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Today is Mother’s Day in the US and is a chance to honor and give thanks to mothers, both human and those of the animal variety!

In nature, mothers come in all shapes and sizes and are equipped with a wide range of different parenting styles. We’ve selected a handful of moms with unique and fascinating methods for raising their babies from keeping little ones close for years to kicking them right out of the nest before they can even fly!
Furry and ginormous, American bison mothers live with their young in hierarchical herds led by one dominant female. Within three hours of being born, the newborn calves are able to run about but are guarded closely by many of the herds’ mothers who will charge any intruders. Talk about safety in numbers!

Our fine, feather mom, the long-eared owl, takes on the more ‘distant’ parenting approach. In a behavior known as ‘branching’, chicks leave the nest before they are able to fly and reside in surrounding vegetation, roosting separately, and thereby potentially reducing predation. While the young are capable of flight at around 35 days, both parents continue to provide food for several weeks after fledging.

Read more at ENN Affiliate, ARKive.

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