Put away the coat, open the blinds and shake that sleepy winter feeling from your head because it's officially spring! The season of blossoms and breezes is here, and with it comes a certain set of feelings. People often joke about having a bad case of "spring fever," but for some animals it is very real. Learn how these creatures adjust to the season of spring.
Sometimes it feels like you hibernated all winter, but your particular brand of lethargy is something many bears would laugh off. In the spring, bears emerge from hibernation where they have not eaten, defecated or urinated for several months. The change of seasons means coming back to reality. Bears wake up thinner and weaker, so the first weeks of spring are spent taking long frolicking walks and feasting on plentiful shoots, sprouts and maybe a stray deer to get their metabolism and strength back to normal.
Spring means it's time for butterflies to get busy ... in several ways. For example, the monarch butterfly uses this season to mate and migrate. Eager to move to a new climate, these animals flutter back up north to enjoy cool and fair weather. Before they take off, the monarchs mate and then pack up their bags to head out. Instead of sticking around to lay their eggs, the butterflies lay them en route to their new destination.
Spring fever is contagious for cats. As the season starts to ramp up, releasing new smells and sounds, felines react. The increase in sensory activity causes a boost of energy and curiosity that can lead cats to dash around the house and crazily chatter by the window. Seeing the uptick in action can be amusing for owners, but it is important to be careful. If you have a cat that goes outdoors, make sure to be extra cautious, since this is often the time felines are involved in outdoor accidents.
These animals take spring socializing very seriously. Normally solitary creatures, spring is the one time that these animals feel driven to find company. After munching away at their food stores all winter, the chipmunk will leave its bachelor pad to seek out a mate. Chipmunks stick with their litters until the babies are about 2 months old and then the young all go out on their own to prepare for the winter. So, spring is the only time love is in the air for these loners.
Spring is the season of change for deer. The animals start off by shedding their winter coats to suit the warmer weather. This is also the season that most does have their young, leading to a big boom in deer activity. Aside from the population boost, deer are also more active in the spring because of the sprouting vegetation. After a winter of little food, deer eagerly prance around their homes to gobble up all their favorite plants before they are gone. Unfortunately, this care-free and hungry attitude causes an increase in deer and vehicle collisions.
Spring is the season that many frogs get frisky, so they always know when it's near. The spring peeper frog is renowned for its ability to start its quacking mating call at the exact moment the weather starts to turn. This excited shout attracts plenty of lady frogs to the calling area, who choose the mate they think sounds the best. Once chosen, the male grabs onto his mate with a newly strengthened grip, and that's how tadpoles are made.
The hedgehog is another hibernating animal that is always happy for the coming of spring. After sleeping through winter and burning up much of their fat reserves, hedgehogs wake up with some serious food cravings. The hunger pains will lead these critter on 2-mile quests to binge on the snails and slugs their bodies crave. Hedgehogs know when to wake based on temperature changes. For this reason, warm winters can mean serious trouble for these animals as they wake from their long slumbers early and are unable to find food.
Both female and male moose start fresh in the spring. A female begins the season by having children who stay close to their mother's side for nourishment throughout the season. Males, meanwhile, start growing back the impressive set of antlers they lost the previous winter. The antlers will come back in bigger than before, allowing the male a greater advantage during mating season and in fights with other moose.
9. PRAIRIE VOLE
Springtime really messes with the mind of a prairie vole. The rodent produces a certain protein in the brain solely during the spring. This production signals the animal's nerve cells that it is time to mate. The protein is essential to the prairie voles because it releases a pheromone that attracts females. Before catching a whiff, female voles are uninterested in mating.
10. RED-SIDED GARTER SNAKE
Red-sided garter snakes turn mating season into a show-stopper. Every spring, the snakes give in to the urge to mate in a big way. The males come out of their dens first, waiting for the females to follow. Once the females arrive, up to 100 males with slither up on one female and create a "mating ball." Out of all the aggressive suitors, each female chooses only one. The act is so bizarre that tourists have started travelling to view the spectacle.
Most birds make big moves in spring, migrating back north for the fresh weather. Out of all the birds, robins are known as the birds of spring because they are often the first to be seen. Part of the reason the robin appears to have the best timing is because they're robins who winter in colder states. To tell when spring is truly arriving, you have to be on the lookout for a singing robin. Once the weather starts to warm up, these birds are usually moved to break into elaborate songs.
Next: Animals That Bring Good Luck!
Spring is rough for squirrels. While the animals may seem especially active and friendly during spring, they are really just hungry. During this season, many of their nutty food sources begin to sprout, causing the animals to scurry for more food. Desperate to get a good meal, many squirrels will eat buds from trees, but out of hunger, some will be moved to approach items on your porch or in more populated places.
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