Apparently some of you are tired of the bird after bird after bird posts as of late. Note even the slight detour with an amorous Skunk would appease your thirst for something new or more succinctly stated by a rather perturbed correspondence “you know, your blog is called wildlife not birdlife”. They definitely have a point so today I will try to appease the teeming millions and go with something in the cloven hoof category – a Killdeer! … sorry, bad birding joke.
Don’t fret, I am making good on a real hoofed animal.
Okay everyone, say it with me “….Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh”. How cute is that!?! Now some of you might have held back a bit knowing how destructive these animals can get when they mature. Anyone who lives in the country like Linda and I definitely know their taste for flowers and gardens. At our other house we enjoyed the blooms on the 100 tulip bulbs we planted for … wait for it … wait for it.. ONE day! Then we had the pleasure of enjoying 100 bloomless stalks for the rest of the month. One has even managed to completely destroy my first sports car (thank god for air bags and a lot of luck). Even Linda has managed to tear up some fenders bouncing off them while they attempted to play Frogger. However, when it comes to their baby stages, they are just plain adorable.
You usually do not simply come upon a Fawn out on its own. Their mothers generally keep pretty good tabs on them and tend to shadow them just far enough that their offspring think they are braving their new world on their own, but in truth they are being watched very closely. To be honest, mother is probably spending more time watching their surroundings making sure there are no predators around. Sure enough, this Fawn was under a watchful eye.
Hit the jump to see a few more pictures (it will bring a cheer to your heart).
So, you might be wondering how this encounter came to be, especially given that Deer are so protective of their young and clearly not stupid enough to parade their vulnerable newbs in front of an apex predator Human. She either clearly recognized me as a birder and immediately knew they were in a danger free zone .. or she didn’t see me as she followed her curious Fawn. Definitely the latter ha. While tracking down the images of the Scarlet Tanager from the last post, I found this set on the same roll. I had completely forgotten my little encounter and immediately processed a few shots to share (great timing per all the anti-bird mail that was overflowing my inbox).
As noted, I discovered this Fawn while on our Georgia birding trip. If you recall from the previous post, not really sure where this was beyond it being a wildlife refuge that advertised the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker (I will get you some day Red, I will find you). Really need to try and figure out where that is, but not a lot to go on – one of the reason I try and take pictures of signage wherever we roam. After taking the shots of the brief Tanager visit, I was heading back along the trail covered in rather tall grass. I’m sure there were thoughts on how much Ron would have hated this path as it was clearly a tick haven. The trail had a fairly steep hill on it and I had stopped halfway up thinking a flash in the corner of my eye was another bird opportunity. After standing very still for a while (admittedly, the dominant activity when out birding), eventually deduced it was just a Yeti and turned back to the trail. That is when I spotted a set of spots meandering towards me. The hill ridge managed to obscure me enough not to startle the Fawn or the mom. This provided a bit of time to slowly and quietly slink into the darker woods on the trail’s edge. I managed to get several shots in the tin before the mother identified the source of shutter clicking, huffed a few times and took off back along the trail. A few shots later and the Fawn figure out there was danger in the area as well – two shots previous was the moment it discovered me in the trees. Now startled, it looked back for Mom (not liking the freedom now) – except there was no Mom.
“Mom, Mom Mom bad dude ahead, Mom, Mom Mom Mom?”
Then it took matters into its own hooves and went incognito.
“I’ll just hide behind this blade of grass and that evil predator won’t be able to see me”
… or it was going in a different direction. “Look at me, I’m a Lion and I’m in my uber-aggressive, threatening and about to rip your throat out stance”. Either way it made me laugh. Don’t be concerned, the mother was still there, she was just trying to distract me so I’d focus my attention on her and not her vulnerable baby. I stayed put and let the Fawn calm its nerves a bit. Mom made her way back up the hill, uttered a few more huffs and scratched at the ground a bit. As much a show of aggression toward me as a signal for the little one to head back to safety. Based on the fact I was the only other person in the refuge at the time and the ragged condition of the trails, pretty sure the local wildlife wasn’t used to bipeds. I was just thankful I was able to give those deer something to write about on their own wildlife blogs.
Hope you enjoyed your time away from the wings.
7 thoughts on “Once Upon a Fawn”
Ahhhh…. baby deer…. make me smile!
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Excellent, always like when I can bring a smile to someone! Thanks again for the shout out on the Cedar Journal. Your post on our feathered friends definitely brought a smile for me. Sorry for being late, somehow neither Ron nor I were notified of a new post even though we are both following you. Went to see what you were up to and was surprised.
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I think WP has been playing with things as several of one blogs I follow have also dropped recently.
What great photos! Keep up the great work!!
-Rachel from http://www.wildbioadventures.org
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Thank you Rachel, appreciate that. Thanks for the link as well, need to go check that out in more depth but some definite stunner shots just on your homepage alone. Glad you dropped by and taking the time to comment.
Love your bird photography/adventures, so no need to pull back as far as I’m concerned. The fawn photographs and story are wonderful, too, of course. I also find that I stand still for long periods when I’m out tracking birds. This winter I endangered my fingers holding the camera barehanded for much too long in subzero temps. What we do for cedar waxwings in January…should be a song lyric. Your blog is a lot of fun! How many Yeti per year do you think you see?
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Appreciate the kind words. There’s something very peaceful about bird watching which is likely the reason I enjoy it so much. Life is busy and a wonderful way to de-stress before the cycle starts again on Mondays. Not sure what your rig is, but LensCoat has definitely saved my fingers more than once. Ironically, I have found a number of Yeti, but for some bizarre reason I have yet to spot one when I was actually with someone making it extremely hard to convince my friends and family much less the talking gnome that keeps sneaking up behind me. Thanks for stopping by and my apologies for the late response, apparently your comment got set to moderate – should be fixed going forward.