What season do most animals in the forest mate?

General Facts
Herons mating.

Forest mating time


For the many animals that inhabit the forest, spring time is mating time.

Awakening in their underground dormitories, the hibernators come forth lean, irritable, as if to complain about their empty bellies.

The furry animals discard their winter coats for light summer wear.

Then the forest rings with excitement, for this is mating time.

Small squirrels race after each other through a maze of tree branches, jerking their bushy tails.

Squirrel pair.

Cats let out hair-raising cries.

A male hedgehog circles around his chosen female for hours, puffing and extending his snout toward her before the two of them shuffle off together.

Skunks have a courtship dance at dusk, bowing and bobbing, hopping toward each other on stiff legs until their noses touch.

The male elks crash antlers together in resounding fights to win the females.

Even elephants court for weeks, beating each other gently with sensitive trunks, sometimes twining them together as if “holding hands.”

Elephant mating.



In the realm of birds the male parades fine feathers and swaggers about trying to make a favorable impression.

Pheasants strut in colorful spring feathers and puff out their necks when the hen is nearby.

Cranes prance an awkward but effective minuet of courtship.

Pigeons pursue females, puffing their breasts and spreading their tails.

Male and female albatrosses point their bills to the sky and bray like donkeys.

Water birds touch beaks, wag their heads from side to side, dive and present waterweeds to each other. 

Great crested grebe courtship.

The male marsh hawk soars high in the sky and then dives to earth turning somersaults.

A male hummingbird flies in aerial acrobatics higher and higher, then dives to earth, braking to a sudden halt a few inches from the female, who pretends that she has not noticed him at all.

By June the forest is alive with many new animals.

Fawns struggle along on rubbery legs. 

Baby fawn.

Baby skunks curiously investigate fallen logs.

Mother raccoons bring their babies out of their hollow tree homes to play in the sunshine and to go on hunting trips with her.

In nests are hungry cries and wide-opened mouths.

Bird hatchlings.


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