By Gary Bogue
Monday, May 7th, 2012 at 7:02 am in deer.
Your column this morning (May 2, “Do deer leave fawns unattended?”) has prompted me to write about the amazing event my downstairs neighbor and I witnessed the other morning.
When I opened the drapes and looked out on the beautiful hills (as I do every morning) I was thrilled to note that a doe had just given birth to twin fawns on the lawn right below our window. I immediately phoned my animal loving neighbor, Marg. We spent the morning peeking from our windows and patios … taking pictures and phoning each other on the progress of this little family.
The mother … licked the grass to get rid of any scent (I suppose) and spent the morning nuzzling and thoroughly cleaning her twins. They started nursing as she was lying down … or trying to find the spot, I should say! Eventually they were able to nurse as she stood.
It seemed to take awhile for her to have milk … and I suppose that is normal. She left them under nearby shrubs while she ate some photenia leaves. It was amusing to see several turkeys come close to have a look … She chased them away but ignored the quail gathered around to congratulate her, I imagine! Eventually a noise spooked her and she traveled across the driveway and up the hill with one fawn.
The other stayed in the lawn, as flat as possible and perfectly motionless. When I looked later, it was gone and I am quite sure she must have come back for it. So you are doing the readers a service when you tell them not to disturb fawns they think might be abandoned.
Jean Faszholz, Rossmoor, Walnut Creek, California
What great photos. Thanks for sharing them with us! Amazing things go on in our backyards. That’s why I call backyards … the “Urban Wilderness.”
A few years ago, a professor at UC-Berkeley and some of his grad students did a study on urban deer. They tranquilized a bunch of bucks and does, put radio-transmitter collars on them and tracked them 24/7 to learn what they could about them. They discovered some urban deer are born in backyards, spend their lives wandering through town, and eventually die in town. Interesting. /Gary