Meet 2024 Newest Generation!


Spring is such an exciting time on the prairie, especially when the new greening grass becomes dotted with the newest generation of baby buffalo, also known as red dogs or cinnamons.  

baby bison calf

For those of you unfamiliar with bison, they are exceptionally good mothers, keeping their calves very close to them - especially in the first few weeks.

Bison Calf with Bison Cow

At the sight of anything that might threaten their safety, a mother buffalo will take its calf and run, even if the potential threat is far away. 

Bison cow and bison calf running on the praire

For our bison herd, their wild, inherent behavior is also attributed to our large landscape grazing practices, which allows the bison to be and behave like bison did hundreds of years ago.

Bison calf nursing

Expecting and new mothers will often form “maternity wards”, moving away from the main herd. After a week or so, they will reunite with their larger family groups within the herd.

Bison herd with baby buffalo calves

Out of respect for the first time and also seasoned mothers, when calving begins we keep our distance, and we also pause our humane field harvest.

Bison calves in praire grass

Last year’s cured grass shadows the new green spring grass, which is also a sign of a healthy pasture that has not been over grazed. Leaving grass and not overgrazing helps to catch winters snowfall, and it also makes great coverage for newly born bison calves.

bison herd with baby bison calves

Female bison can breed at two years of age, and typically have one calf per year. Although twins do happen, they are rare.  

Bison calves resting in grass and bison calf scratching itself

Bison calves are up within minutes of being born. They are very agile from the start, and will move right along with their mothers. If they get too far away, the mother will call them back with a series of soft grunts. 

Two bison calves and a cow on the move

Baby buffalo weigh around 30 to 40 pounds at birth, are born with a full set of bottom teeth (bison only have bottom teeth), and will start to graze within days alongside their mothers. 

Bison calf with yearling bull

Taking photographs of the first buffalo calves has it challenges, even with a zoom lens. My first approach is always from far away, and only when they will allow me, do I move in closer.

Bison Cow with baby Buffalo Calf

A natural prairie ecosystem is truly a sight to behold... full of life and hope, for a brighter future for generations to come! 


  • Posted on by Rick Jarboe
    Thank you so much for taking such amazing care in providing habitat and supporting the regeneration of the bison herds.
  • Posted on by Nancy

    Beautiful pictures! I love learning about the calves and their mothers. Thank you for sharing, and happy Mother’s Day!

  • Posted on by Sue King Mills
    Thanks so much Jill. John and I can’t wait to be there for our tour in just about 10 days!
  • Posted on by Katherine

    Thank you Jill for sharing these wonderful peeks into bison motherhood. How wonderful to be able to share these moments! Happy Mother’s Day to you and yours.

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