Happy Father’s Day From Wild Florida
Celebrate Father’s Day with some of Florida’s dedicated dads. These formidable fathers know when to protect their young, build a home, and even take on pregnancy.
Sandhill cranes are synonymous with the Florida landscape. Standing nearly four feet tall, they are known for their monogamous nature and dancing rituals to attract their mates. But when it comes to fatherhood, sandhill cranes don’t mess around. Mated, adult males have been observed fiercely defending eggs, and later young, by kicking their long legs at predators.
Seahorse fathers are famous for taking the responsibility of fatherhood very seriously. The lined seahorse can be found along the coast of Florida, clinging to mangroves, seagrasses, and corals. After a series of complicated courtship rituals and subsequent mating, male seahorses will carry 250-650 eggs in their brood pouch. After 20-21 days, the male seahorse will release the developed embryos into the world.
Mother and father Florida scrub-jays are very involved parents. The only endemic bird species to Florida, the scrub-jay inhabits the highest and driest areas of Florida. Unlike many species, both male and female birds raise their young with the help of previous generations.
But father Florida scrub-jays play a special role in child-rearing. Males are responsible for collecting large twigs and constructing the structure that will become a suitable nest to hold three to four nestlings. Once a female Florida scrub-jay has laid her eggs, males forage the surrounding scrub for insects to keep her satiated while ensuring the nest remains heavily guarded.
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