17 Adorable Pictures of Baby Animals You’ll Love Instantly

We dare you not to smile while looking at these baby balls of fluff and feathers.

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Photo: Traer Scott

Cottontails, 10 days old

If you thought rabbits couldn’t get any cuter, this photo might just prove you wrong. Baby rabbits are also known as kits or kittens, which could get confusing if you search for “cute kittens” online. Either way, you’ll end up with a photo that will make you say “Awww!”

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Photo: Traer Scott

Red kangaroo, four months old

Can you believe this guy was the size of a cherry when he was born? Joeys stay in their mothers’ pouches for up to six months before they start gradually venturing into the outside world. After a full year, they’re ready to hop out and pose for cute pictures like this one.

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Photo: Traer Scott

Giraffe, five weeks old

There’s nothing “little” about baby giraffes, also known as calves. They’re born about six feet tall, often weighing up to 200 pounds!

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Photo: Traer Scott

Harbor seal, two weeks old

Those whiskers, those big eyes—that’s definitely a face all mothers (and non-mothers) can love. Harbour seal pups form strong bonds with their moms and make a bleating noise that sounds like “maaaa” when they want their mommies.

These are the animals that can basically live forever.

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Photo: Traer Scott

Mallard duckling, one week old

In one of our many pictures of baby animals, this wee one proves there’s nothing ugly about this duckling. Ducklings are able to walk and swim just hours after hatching, but they choose to stay close to their mothers and siblings for their first few weeks, which is why you see them parading in a line when walking and swimming.

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Photo: Traer Scott

Pigeon, one to two weeks old

Pigeons are everywhere in big cities, but baby pigeons, or squabs, aren’t as easy to spot. That’s because pigeons tend to build their nests very high up in urban structures that mimic cliffs—places like rooftops and ledges—and under bridges. They stay in the nest for up to six weeks, and by the time they emerge, they look just like their parents. Talk about family resemblance!

Check out these other adorable animals you didn’t know existed.

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Photo: Traer Scott

Raccoon, four weeks old

Sure, this raccoon may rummage through your garbage when she’s older, but she looks pretty darn adorable right now. Since baby raccoon pups are very social, she’s probably getting ready to meet up with other pups for a playdate.

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Photo: Traer Scott

Red fox, eight weeks old

You can’t tell from this picture, but just a few weeks ago, this red fox kit was born blind and deaf (all baby foxes are). Now he’s ready to pounce on those precious little paws.

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Photo: Traer Scott

Red-shouldered hawk, three weeks old

When hawks are just hatchlings, their stares can still be pretty intimidating—and they’re not even independent yet. Hatchlings leave the nest at about six weeks old, but they stay with their parents and depend on them for food and protection for another couple of months.

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Photo: Traer Scott

Screech owl, six weeks old

As we scoured through all these cute pictures of baby animals, we can only wonder what put this hilarious face on this baby owl. Maybe he just found out he won’t grow much; even as adults, screech owls are still smaller than a pint glass.

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Photo: Traer Scott

Skunk, five weeks old

We can forgive this baby skunk for having the ability to make us stink to high heaven. She’s just too stinkin’ cute!

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Photo: Traer Scott

White-footed mouse, two weeks old

This sleepy little field mouse was just a few centimetres long when he was born. Luckily, size doesn’t matter when you look this lovable.

For more cuteness, check out these Canadian birds captured on camera.

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Baby coyote
Photo: Traer Scott

Coyote, eight weeks old

When coyote babies like this little guy are born, both the mother and father help to care for the pups. Sometimes older siblings will also help. Coyote pups are considered mature at about nine months, at which time some will leave home while others will continue to live with the pack.

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Photo: Traer Scott

Groundhog, five weeks old

Groundhogs, this baby included, are also known as woodchucks. Despite the popular Groundhog Day ritual, neither temperature nor weather actually determines when a groundhog emerges from hibernation. Instead, they’re driven by the start of mating season.

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Green heron
Photo: Traer Scott

Green heron, three weeks old

Green herons perform elaborate courtship displays to attract a mate by calling, snapping their bills, and craning their necks. Once pairing and mating have occurred, both parents help incubate and feed the hatchlings, which will remain with their parents until they are about one month old.

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Photo: Traer Scott

Opossum, four weeks old

This opossum baby was as small as a bee when it was born and spent at least 70 days in its mother’s pouch before emerging on its own. Their long, hairless tails enable baby opossums to climb and hang from trees without falling, but young opossums will not actually sleep hanging upside down until they are adults.

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Photo: Traer Scott

Painted turtle, less than one year old

This cutie’s beautiful shell is a work of art. Painted turtles shed pieces of their shells as they grow bigger. Turtle shells are made of bone covered by separate sections of keratin called scutes. As a young turtle grows, new layers of scutes will form, eventually causing the old ones to peel off.

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Adorable Pictures of Baby Animals
Photo: Chronicle Books

Can’t get enough cute baby animals?

For more sweet pictures of baby animals, check out Wild Babies: Photographs of Baby Animals from Giraffes to Hummingbirds by Traer Scott, published by Chronicle Books in 2016.

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Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest