Growing up

I put the game camera up in the woods to try to capture the movements of the carnivores that I can hear calling late at night and early in the morning (bobcat and red fox).  No luck getting photos of them so far, but the deer continue to use that trail regularly, which allows me to check up on the growth of this year’s fawns.

Earlier this spring (late May), this little one appeared in the backyard.

Earlier this spring (late May), this little one appeared in the backyard.

For the first four weeks, when the fawn is more vulnerable to predators, does usually leave the fawn hidden in dense vegetation while they forage.  During the first month, the fawn is completely dependent on its mother’s milk for nourishment.

A doe stashed her fawn in the garden while she foraged elsewhere.

A doe stashed her fawn in my coneflowers while she foraged elsewhere.

Almost exactly two months later, fawns have grown quite a bit, but still have their camouflage spots.

Almost exactly two months later, fawns have grown quite a bit, but still have their camouflage spots. Image from the game camera.

I think this is a singlet fawn, most likely the same one photographed in late May this year.  Does usually have twins, or even occasionally triplets, depending on the nutrional status of the doe.  However, the game camera has only captured a single fawn with a particular doe several times, so I’m guessing that this is its only offspring.

Fawns may be nursed 8-10 weeks, so this little one is just about weaned.  They begin to follow their mother around, learning what to eat at about 4 weeks of age, and will likely be taught all the tasty plants in my garden as well.  By fall (4 months of age), it will be completely independent, and will have lost its spots as it molts a warm winter underfur coat with longer reddish-colored guard hair fur.

Doe and her fawn in the fall (photographed Oct 2011)

Doe and her fawn in the fall (photographed Oct 2011)

4 thoughts on “Growing up

  1. I like the fact that you are able to track the development of these animals without spending endless hours waiting and hoping that they will appear. You certainly have gotten good use (and good photos) out of that game camera.

    • Yes, it is fun to see what and who shows up on the game camera (sometimes it is my neighbors back in the woods). I am still hoping for a predator cameo some evening, though.

    • I see just as much in my backyard (animals, that is) as I do at any of the parks i visit or trails I hike. But I am always hopeful that there will be something new to see (and photograph).

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