Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Photos of a fawn

This morning when I let the dogs out into the yard around 5 am, I noticed two does - one an adult, one a yearling - across the road. It took a few minutes to see the tiny fawn. If this fellow was over six hours old, I'd be surprised.

The funny thing was the behavior of the yearling. She desperately wanted to meet her new sibling - "Aww mom, can't I just see??" - but mom wouldn't have it (thus demonstration that humans aren't the only ones hormonally crazed immediately after giving birth). Every time the yearling got too close to the fawn, mom could chase her away a few feet. Very funny to watch.

Anyway, this afternoon I noticed some strange behavior by a solitary doe in our pasture. Normally deer aren't out mid-day, but this girl was. She bounded away in great agitation, then stiffly trotted back to where she started from - classic behavior of a mother with a hidden fawn. I grabbed the camera.

Newborn fawns, as everyone knows, have no scent and thus their survival strategy is to collapse into a tiny ball at the first hint of danger and lay perfectly still. Mom usually dances out of sight, perhaps to lure predators in her direction and away from the fawn. This fawn scrambled under the wire of a fence and then dropped. It was so well camouflaged that even though I knew where it was, it took me a few minutes to find it.

I didn't want to get too close, so these shots aren't the clearest. Nor did I want to stress the mother by my presence for too long. About an hour after I took the photos, mom came and retrieved her tyke.


  1. What a precious babe! You were blessed to have the sighting and experience. I'm glad you explained the behaviors, too, because so many people don't understand deer. They're quite complex. I have a herd of 15 that regularly tromp and chomp through my flower beds so I've learned a lot about them over the last 5 years. I feel blessed for the experience and I'm glad you had this blessing, too.