For many of us, mothers are the strongest figures in our lives. They fill the selfless role of ensuring safety, comfort and love for their children so they can grow up and make the world a better place. Buffalo moms are emblematic examples of this spirit of motherhood; the single most important group in the continued coexistence, survival and prosperity of the Yellowstone herds.

Buffalo mothers are the leaders of family groups, navigating through the harsh and sometimes dangerous environment of Yellowstone. They must know where food and water can be found, where to seek shelter, and how to outwit the wolves and bears who stalk the herd.

2021 05 14 01 002 mom stands with calf

Buffalo mothers are caring. They provide new calves and yearlings with the love and support they need to grow up happy and healthy. They exhibit this care most during calving season in the spring, a time long awaited for the mothers of the central herd. After a long, hard winter, they get to relax with their new calves, putting their full focus on bonding and loving the new life they created.

2021 05 14 01 003 mom grooms calf

Buffalo mothers are teachers. They raise every buffalo calf to be strong and capable in the face of the challenges life in the wild will throw at them. They teach which grass is best to eat, how to groom, and how to coexist with the human world. Most importantly, the teach each new generation the herd knowledge of ancestral migration that only the last wild buffalo of Yellowstone still remember.

The buffalo are safe, happy and healthy on their Horse Butte calving grounds this May, with more new calves coming into the world every day. As the calves peacefully play in the greening fields with their mothers and friends, we take this time to reflect and give thanks for the mothers in our lives, both buffalo and human. We feel so blessed to live among these amazing beings. From all of us here at BFC, thank you, and let the moms in your life know how great they are!

2021 05 14 01 005 buffalo wallowing