Mammals

Mother, “Deer” Mother of Mine

I moved my Stealth Cam close to our gate, where there is a little path going off into the woods, which almost follows our property line. I have often wondered if it is a path that animals use, because it certainly isn’t used much by humans! I suspected deer use it, for it to be a path clear enough for us humans to take and sure enough deer are using it. This spot is also quite close to where I almost stepped on the fawn a couple of years ago and sure enough we have another baby in that area this year.

STC_0011Washing baby

The picture quality isn’t the best with the Stealth Cam, but I was still thrilled to capture this tender moment between mother and baby!

It is obviously quite young, because of the number of vivid spots. Fawn’s have between 272-342 spots and yes, people have actually counted them! They are like a fingerprint with each fawn having a unique pattern with various numbers of spots, size and how they are dispersed.   They have two rows of white spots either side of the back from the neck to the tail and those spots almost touch each other. Then there are the scattered spots on either side. These hairs are not white to the roots, so as the fawn grows some of the white is gradually worn away and the spots begin to fade. When the fawn molts into its winter coat the spots finally vanish.

STC_0049running

I love how the camera captured what looks like a game of chase with baby and mother. It reminded me of how my boys loved to run off and have me chase them when they were young. Play is very important for the fawns, as it help them strengthen their muscle reflexes for escaping predators, so this might well have been what was going on here.

STC_0014whose that

I wonder if the deer had a feeling they were being watched? The camera is silent, but they both looked right at the camera as though they thought someone was looking at them.

STC_0052approach

There was another deer in the area too and I wonder if it was last year’s baby. Female fawns remain with their mothers until the following spring or longer, whereas male fawns become independent and leave during their first fall.

STC_0054three deer

The mother seems to be accepting of her hanging around with them, but she seems a little concerned about approaching them. Maybe she is struggling to make the break and not too happy about the attention her mother is giving to her new sibling.

STC_0036thin

I was a little concerned to see how thin she looks. Maybe she is a late bloomer. Keep on munching girl…but please don’t use my new garden as a salad bowl!

 

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