Spring is a great time to visit Yellowstone National Park to watch as the landscape changes and residents emerge from a long, cold winter. Spring is here – even if there still is snow on the ground in some areas of the park.
The cooler temperatures haven’t stopped the animals and their babies from making appearances. The first “red dog” (which is a nickname for a bison calf) of the season was spotted by the nonprofit Yellowstone Forever. The exciting news was shared on Facebook, “One of our favorite moments every year – saw our first bison calf (“red dog”) of the season!”
Followers commented that they are looking forward to visiting the park and hope to spot one of the adorable “red dogs” and many other baby animals alongside their mothers.
Bison Calving Season
The calving season for bison is from mid-April to late-July, but most births occur in April and May due to birth synchrony. The females tend to have their babies right before the lush spring grass comes in ensuring they have enough food for themselves and their young.
Amazing, right?! Learn more about birth synchrony here.
The calves are born with a reddish coat (hence the nickname “red dogs”) but after a few months their coat will transform into the typical dark brown color as their horns and hump start to appear.
How To Observe Animals In The Park
Yellowstone National Park shared some photos of mamas and their babies in the park on Facebook. “It’s springtime in Yellowstone, you know what that means… BABY ANIMALS!” They went on to remind visitors how to safely observe the animals in the park.
“As cute and fuzzy as they are, remember to give wildlife room to roam. Always maintain a distance of at least 100 yards (91 m) away from bears and wolves, and at least 25 yards (23 m) away from all other animals, including bison and elk.”
Bison and other wildlife are often seen by visitors crossing the road, so people are urged to slow down and “enjoy the ride”.
Read more about bison and the important role they play in the prairie ecosystem here.