A Valentine’s Day Walk in the Woods


It’s almost Valentine’s Day, Earth Rangers, and love is in the air for these woodland creatures! We ventured deep into the forest to meet five amazing animals that find the love of their life and then stay together forever. Let’s find out the key to their long relationships!

Hello, Bruce. It’s so nice that you invited us to your lodge today.
Ah, hello! Just adding some more logs to the ol’ dam. We beavers are constantly building, adding, and adjusting our homes.  Some people call us the engineers of the animal world.

beaver grass
These twigs look perfect – time to build that addition we’ve been talking about!

Does your whole family live in your lodge together?
I live here with my kids – my kits, really – and my dear mate, Bernice. She’s so wonderful.  We met when we were three – which is the age most beavers find mates. Did you know Bernice is now a mother of twelve? We’ve had three kits every year for the past four years. Each year, the new kits and the ones from the past year live in the lodge with us. Then, after two years at home with mom and dad, they head out on their own. 

Any Valentine’s Day plans?
Well, Bernice and I always enjoy going out for a delicious meal of bark, twigs and leaves. Yum!  

Thanks, Bruce! Now, I think I see my next interview subjects…ah, yes. It’s Emerald and Edward the bald eagle! Their nest is pretty huge, actually, so it’s not hard to find!

Ah, I see you spotted us. Our nest is really big because we use it every single year when we’re ready to lay our eggs! Did you know that our nest is also called an aerie? We add to it each year and it can grow quite huge!

Comin’ in hot for a hug, dear Emerald!

It’s very impressive! How did you pick this spot?

Well, we knew we wanted the tallest tree in the forest, so that was our first pick! A tree near water was a nice bonus too. We were lucky we found a spot like this in such a beautiful forest, and we’re so thankful this forest exists!

Well we’re pretty thankful too – you have such a beautiful family and a beautiful home! I’m an Earth Ranger, and to show my appreciation for forests and all the amazing things they give us, I’ve made tons of cool crafts using things like twigs and recycled toilet paper rolls.

The Fantastic Crafts and When to Make Them Mission gave me lots of good ideas, including a Valentine’s Day card made of popsicle sticks that I made especially for you two lovebirds! And speaking of lovebirds, how do you two deal with parenting together?

Well look at that Edward, isn’t that just lovely?! Thank you so much! When it comes to parenting, we both take our roles very seriously. Bald eagle parents take care of their eaglets for two and a half months. We both bring food to the nest, and we both protect our babies from predators.  Even after our eaglets leave the nest, they don’t go too far away. We continue to give our little sweeties food until they’re totally grown up.

When do bald eagles usually find a mate?

When we’re about five years old. We live up to thirty years, so we have really, really long relationships!

Wow! That IS a long time! Now, I’ve got to look for our next creatures…the gray wolves!  Ah, there they are…with their whole pack! Er…hi, Walter. Nice to see you!

Good to see you as well! This is my wonderful mate, Wendy. And this is our pack!

I’m Wendy, and this is Gloria and Walter Jr.! Nice to meet ya!

Uh, yes. I noticed. There sure are a lot of wolves here.

Yes, we have ten wolves in our pack. I’m the alpha male, and Wendy is the alpha female. That means we’re the leaders of the pack. The rest of the wolves are our pups from years past. We’re all family.

How many pups do gray wolves usually have each year?

We have about 4-7 pups in a litter, and after our pups turn two years old, they can choose to stick with our pack or head out on their own. Some of our pups have started their own packs. It makes a papa proud!  Speaking of proud papas, have you met Chris? He’s the tasty-looking coyote that lives just over that hill.

Yes, I’m off to see him next! Thanks, Walter.

Happy to help!  Tell Chris I hope to see him later.

Chris, you’re the last animal on my Valentine’s Day list. Tell us about your mate.

I met Clementine when we were about two – that’s the usual time for coyotes to find a mate. And we’ve been super close ever since. Coyotes stay together forever. We’re true romantics!

Check out this photo from last year’s Christmas newsletter – we make a pretty cute couple, huh?!

That’s lovely. And you have a family?

Oh, yes. We’ve been lucky enough to have two litters so far, each with six pups. My pups are the most wonderful little coyotes in the world. Smart, good-looking, so clever and curious. They’re the apples of my eye. Clementine and I work really hard to raise our pups, keeping them well-fed and safe from predators. It’s a big job, but everything works better when we work together.

You can show your appreciation for forests and all the amazing things they give us by accepting the Fantastic Crafts and When to Make Them Mission today! You’ll find instructions for making Valentine’s Day cards out of materials like recycled cardboard and popsicle sticks, so get crafting – and Happy Valentine’s Day, Earth Rangers!

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