Friday, September 24, 2010

Babies in Nature

Hunting and fishing are popular pastimes for many, and observing nature first hand is an excellent way to ensure success. Watching those who have become experts is another way to increase your chances of bagging a bird in flight or landing a trout.

While hunters and fishermen are doing their best to take home a trophy or fill the frying pan, wild animals are doing their best to remain healthy and free. Soon after birth they begin learning how to get along in their environment. They also have mentors - their parents.

Although the young of some species are virtually left on their own, others receive care, protection and instruction from their parents. Canada geese and Mute swans maintain a family unit until the goslings can care for themselves, and mother foxes and ground hogs stick fairly close to their babies.

It’s interesting to see the young of a species as they get used to their new world. You soon realize that youngsters at play are youngsters at play, no matter what the species.

Playing develops muscles and coordination, and trains them in using their natural instincts for self-preservation. Besides, they’re naturally cute.

Everything baby animals learn as they mature serves a purpose later in life. A young fox or ground hog’s predisposition to disappear into a nearby hole, although a natural instinct, is enhanced by observing how mom responds to a perceived danger. In the same way, goslings or cygnets respond by swimming away or taking flight, as soon as they are able, when trouble approaches. Why? Because that’s what mom and dad do!

Babies in nature are more than cute, cuddly creatures. It’s up to you to determine how to defeat the inherited instincts and learned behavior that they develop. Remember, as you’re watching that cagy old fisherman and knowledgeable hunter use their skills, baby animals are watching and learning, too.


Note; Text and photos copyright Bill Diller 2010

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