Happy Father’s Day to all of the fathers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Here is a list of species and descriptions of the male’s role in sustaining the next generation. Can you match them up?
Great Blue Heron
1. The result of an unfertilized egg, one could say that this father has no father. His only role is to mate with a fertile female of his kind and produce daughters.
2. Mom lays her eggs on dad’s wings, then takes off. Dad will carry and defend the eggs until they hatch.
3. The desire to produce a family is sometimes so strong in this species that a male who has not yet found a mate will sometimes build a nest with the hope of impressing a female enough that she will want to mate with him. If he is successful, he will help her incubate and bring food to their young.
4. This father chooses the site for the nest and builds it. He is the parent who guards the eggs and young.
5. This dad helps to feed, groom and guard the young while the mother is nursing them. Should something happen to her before they are completely weaned, though, he abandons them.
6. This species may have as many as four broods between late spring and late summer. Dad will take over caring for earlier broods until they have fledged while mom incubates the eggs of the next one.
7. This dad helps to raise the young — after they are hatched. This species is known to mate for life. Should the female die first, the male is not likely raise a family again.
8. Dad incubates the eggs roughly 10.5 hours of each day while mom takes over the rest of the day as well as the night shift. Dad helps mom feed the young regurgitated food.
1. Honey Bee
2. Giant Waterbug
3. Great Cormorant
4. Smallmouth Bass
6. Northern Cardinal
7. Trumpeter Swan
8. Great Blue Heron