Friday, May 8, 2009

Hiding in Plain Sight

I'm not sure if this fawn is the same as the fawn in the next two pictures. I only know that it is a little buck. Just like goats, they are born with tiny buds where the antlers will be.
This little guy was just laying in my neighbor's front yard.

Two days later, this little man showed up on my side of the fence I share with the neighbor.

Every year, hundreds of fawns get 'rescued' by well meaning people, who think they've been abandoned. Does get the coolest mom job of all---they get to feed the baby a few times a day and then go hang out with their friends. What's even better is that the baby stays exactly where she leaves it unless it's in mortal danger.

This sort of hit and run nursing, goes on for about a month. After that, baby gets to go just about everywhere she goes.

The mother of this little guy is a flake, but I'm sure trying to decide where the best place to leave a baby is a hard job. Not being a deer, I can only speculate why she'd leave him out in the wide open spaces, near humans. My guess would be fewer coyotes and fewer fire ants. Unfortunately, she's too fearful of humans. I watched her for nearly an hour (from a tiny, second story window) trying to get close enough to nurse. Every time she'd get anywhere near him, she'd bolt because of real or imagined scary things. Once, she got close enough to touch his nose, he stood up. That's when my neighbor decided to come out her front door. Mom was off like a bolt of lightening, with baby hobbling after. He dropped to the ground about 50 feet later and pinned himself flat again. Now he was really out in the open and in full sun.
She didn't return for him for nearly another hour. He was so close to our house at that point, that I didn't let the dogs out---even though a fence separated them from the fawn. Once she got up enough bravery, she came and managed to get him to follow.
Most does will stand their ground when it comes to fawns. They'll take on a dog and pummel it with their heads and hooves. Sharp hooves! This doe was absent on that day of her prenatal class.

Anyway, with fawn season upon us, please pass the word: Leave abandoned fawns right where they are. Mom has only gone out to lunch with her friends and will be back shortly.


  1. Okay, the pictures are really cool. But you're right, Mama Doe doesn't seem to be the brightest crayon in the box, does she? Leaving the baby someplace she's afraid to go doesn't make a lot of sense.

    But I sure did like the pictures you got because she did. :-)

  2. Excellent photos, CeeCee! Such a beautiful fawn. What a pea-brained mama deer, though.

    When we lived in South Carolina people were always 'rescuing' baby squirells when they fell out of the nests.

    We did that one time not knowing any better, but we could hear and see the Mama squirell screaming and chattering at the baby, so we placed the baby close to the base of the tree and then the mama came scampering down and picked up the baby in her mouth and carried it back up to the nest.

    Nature knows what to do. The problems usually happen when we humans start meddling.


  3. I Love how Smart you are Sister O MIne!