Thursday, July 25, 2013
Fawns Developing Independence
While the doe visits my deer block at least once a day, her fawns don't come with that regularity. But when they do, they all share a "family meal" together.
The smallest fawn still tries to nurse occasionally, but recently it appears as if the doe is discouraging that behavior by pulling away or collapsing her hip to make nursing more difficult.
Recently, I'm seeing more independence from the fawns. Here they visit the block without their mother. I sometimes catch a glimpse of them as they romp and crash through the woods surrounding my house. One day as the larger fawn fed alone at the deer block, the smaller one ran headlong laps around and around the empty cottage next door. I was waiting for it to flop down on the ground with exhaustion, as my dog does after she's been running full tilt in our back yard. But that didn't happen. When the small fawn had its fill of running, it just sauntered over to the block to replenish its energy stores. Not even panting.
While the fawns feed at the deer block, I see them grazing on the woodland greenery too. Watching them grow and gain more independence has been a highlight of my summer. I've been worried that their crazy behavior might cause them to cross the street without heed, but I can see they are already developing some street smarts by waiting for a car to pass before crossing the road. In the deer literature I've been reading, I've learned that if a fawn survives the first couple weeks of life without being taken prey, they have a pretty fair chance of reaching adulthood. Comforting, yes?