The Cold Weather Brings Couples Together!
In the middle of winter, during the months of January and February, many species warm up the atmosphere by initiating courtship behaviour aimed at perpetuating their species. By doing so, expectant mothers are able to coordinate the birth of their young during spring and early summer, seasons known for new beginnings and an abundance of resources. Therefore, quite often, while you’re walking along a path, you might surprise some individuals strutting about during your winter visit to the Zoo.
Discover which ones actively partake in the month of love!
The reproductive period is extremely short for magnificent red pandas; in the northern hemisphere, females only come in heat for three days a year, between January and March.
During the mating period, chirping can be heard, and urine marking and gland rubbing on trees increases. Females are the ones that will invite a male to carry out the act on the ground.
Among the seductive gestures displayed they will mutually groom each other, a behaviour that ceases once copulation has happened.
Males and females then tend to ignore each other for the rest of the year; Indeed, the very definition of a brief and ephemeral relationship!
Don’t be fooled by their name (which refers to a Siberian river, in French La rivière Amour, and not the sentiment shared by lovers!), a male tiger’s seduction campaign can be tumultuous, especially when a third-party joins in the dance.
Between November and April, the female, eager to reproduce, roars repeatedly to attract the attention of surrounding males.
If two rivals converge at the same time, a spectacular confrontation ensues, but usually without serious consequences; The defeated one will quickly retreat and flee the scene.
Once alone with his conquest, the male tries to stimulate his partner with husky cries and by rubbing himself against her.
Copulation is rapid, but repeated, several times a day. During the few days that their affair lasts, the couple shares the fruits of their hunt and sleeps closely together.
These elegant cranes begin their seductive parade towards the end of the cold season, as the warm rays of the sun begin to break through the harshness of winter.
The couple, generally together for life, then performs an elaborate ritual dance as they bow, jump and display all kinds of postures.
Not only do they dance, the male and female sing in harmony, a serenade that can last for several long minutes.
These vocalizations are said to strengthen the bond between the two partners and confirm the taking of their territory to other cranes. The couple then works together to build their nest and raise their offspring.
You’ll have a front row seat to view these loving demonstrations during your winter visit to the Zoo de Granby!