Great crested greb

Happy Father’s Day

Throughout the UK we will be celebrating Father’s Day, reminding us of all the amazing things that Dad’s do for us. Here are a few of the best UK wildlife fathers:


Male foxes are, believe it or not, very attentive fathers – playing with their cubs and supplying the female with food every four to six hours whilst she is in the den caring for their offspring. Scientists have even observed a father waiting for the mother fox to fall asleep and then softly call for his pups to come and play. Fox dads never leave their young starving, and when the pups are old enough, they teach them survival skills. The father will leave food around the den and disguise it with leaves and twigs – this way the pups have to seek the food out themselves rather than relying on mum and dad.

foxes playing

The Great Crested Grebe

The male great crested grebe shares the job of caring for the young equally with his mate. He will even let the babies ride around on his back!

Great Crested Grebe, CC, Steve Child


The male badger is highly important when raising the cubs in the family group. The male badger will protect the family group at all costs, and will also keep an eye on the mischievous youngsters who are up to no good.


Red-necked Phalarope

Red-necked Phalarope are incredibly rare in the UK: they actually migrate from South America to Shetland and the Western Isles annually. The father – not the mother – incubates the eggs and cares for his offspring until they are old enough to fend for themselves.

Red necked Phalarope


This colourful exotic bird that tends to lay its eggs during March – April and lays up to 6-7 eggs. Both parents share the task of incubating the eggs which then hatch 19-21 days later. Every chick that hatches can eat up to 12-18 fish per day. The parents then share this demanding task of finding enough food for their young. The chicks are fed in rotation, each one coming forward to take the food from the parent and then moving to the back, so that the others can come forward for their turn.

European Kingfisher European Kingfisher perched on tree branch

Do not forget that it is not just mum that take care of their young, dads are as brilliant and in the wildlife world are certainly dedicated and do amazing things for their offspring!


All photos are under the Creative commons license or Acer Ecology’s