Species Spotlight: Wildlife Fathers

Big or small, dads do it all! And the same goes for wildlife dads – many wildlife fathers take an active role in raising their young.

For example, red foxes are monogamous breeders and the male takes on the primary role of finding food for his mate and young. While the female tends to the young in the den, the male hunts all the food and provides protection to the litter. Once the young are old enough, both parents will teach the pups basic survival skills and how to hunt.

In many bird species, the males actively help build the nest and incubate the eggs. They also help feed the nestlings once hatched and protect the nest from predators. Many bird fathers will fiercely protect their young from anyone that ventures too close.

Eastern hellbender males are the sole parental caregivers for hellbender young. The male digs out a small cup-shaped nest under a rock in a swift moving stream, where the female will lay her eggs. Once the eggs are laid, the male will protect the eggs and fight off any predators until the larvae have hatched.

A big thank you to all the dads out there, wild and human, for all you do!



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