Summer is the season of babies. Loon chicks ride on mom’s and dad’s backs, fox pups play outside their den, and caterpillars munch on milkweed leaves. These critters don’t look or act anything alike, but they do have one thing in common: they are Northwoods babies. And when you stop and think about it, there are many different ways to be born, be young and grow up in the Northwoods.
Some babies, like the loon chicks and fox pups, benefit from two devoted parents who share the duties of feeding and protecting their young. Butterflies and moths provide no parental care. They simply lay their eggs on the food plant of their caterpillars — and then fly off! They’ve protected their caterpillars with adaptations like camouflage, bad-tasting chemicals and the instinct of how best to hide. With many mammals, like deer, bats, porcupines, bobcats and otters, females care for their young alone.