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Archive for the 'deer' Category

Cat & wild fawn playing together!

Cat playing with wild fawn. Photo by Kim Andrews, Forest Ranch, CA
1catfawn kim andrews forest ranch ca

I just got this e-mail and photos from my daughter-in-law, Kim Andrews,  in Forest Ranch, CA, (about 30 miles north of Chico).  She does cat rescue and just loves doing it.  Tommy is one of her rescues she just couldn’t part with.

NOTE FROM KIM: Attached is a photo of our cat, Tommy T. (which stands for trouble), playing with a wild fawn that comes on our property on occasion.  He is a bold kitty!  He just turned 1 last week.  That means that he is 15 in human years and he is a typical teenager.  He gives lots of  ‘tude’. It is a beautiful spring day in Forest Ranch. /KIM
Anna Andrews, Walnut Creek, California

Great photos! They remind me of my days, many years ago, in the wildlife rescue business. I had a couple of orphan fawns I was raising in my backyard. My house cat, John, used to stalk the fawns and then they’d romp together around the yard, playing and chasing each other, then they’d rest and take naps together. Go figure. /Gary

Cat stalking and playing with wild fawn. Photo by Kim Andrews, Forest Ranch, CA
1catfawn2 kim andrews forest ranch ca

Posted on Friday, May 25th, 2012
Under: Cats, deer | 1 Comment »

Doe gives birth to twin fawns in Walnut Creek backyard

Two fawns born in Walnut Creek backyard. Photo by Jean Faszholz, Walnut Creek, CA
1fawn2 jean faszholz wc

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.
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Posted on Monday, May 7th, 2012
Under: deer | 4 Comments »

Bird feeders also feeding deer

Deer at backyard feeder in Oakland, CA. Photo by Susan Russell, Oakland, CA.
1deer at feeder susan russell oak

Dear readers:
In my daily newspaper column of Tuesday, Feb. 21 (“Bird feeder doubles as deer feeder”), Anne Watson of Pleasanton, Calif., had a letter describing how a buck deer was eating all of the bird seed out of a backyard feeder (

Here are a couple of responses to that column from other readers. I thought you’d get a kick out of the photos. Apparently “everybody” likes bird seed. (To the deer, you can add raccoons, foxes, squirrels and skunks!). /Gary

After reading your Tuesday column I just had to pass on this photo I took in our backyard in Montclair, Calif.  I, too, was wondering why the birdseed was disappearing so quickly, especially since the feeder is one of those “swirl-a-squirrel” type that keeps the squirrels from dining.  I never imagined it was deer until I caught this one with her hand in the cookie jar, so to speak.  Her friend is browsing in the background waiting her turn.  Animals are very resourceful.  Needless to say, I raised the feeder.  Hopefully there are are no giraffes roaming the Oakland Hills.
Susan Russell,Oakland, California
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Posted on Tuesday, February 28th, 2012
Under: Bird Feeders, deer | 5 Comments »

Photos of coyote and deer in a standoff

Coyote and deer in standoff. Photo by Scott Campbell, Fairfield, CA
1coyote deer scott campbell fairfield

I’m that guy who captured the photo of the river otters in the Richmond Marina a year or 2 ago.

I was on a hike in the Marina Headlands National Park yesterday and saw something amazing.  I looked up the cliff and saw a deer and a big old coyote nervously watching each other.  The coyote was sizing up the deer while the deer stood motionless, and then I guess the coyote decided, “Naaa, he’s too big, I think I will just lay down tight here and chill.”  I was able to capture that moment with my camera.  The coyote was BEAUTIFUL!  HUGE for a coyote!  It was one of those moments photographers and nature lovers live to see!  Hunter and Hunted just chilling together.

Anyway, I just wanted to share these with you. Have a great day!!
Scott Campbell, Fairfield, California
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Posted on Thursday, January 19th, 2012
Under: coyotes, deer, River otters, Wolves | No Comments »

Oh boy, these apples are good!

Oh boy, these apples are good! Photo by Mike Gordon, Walnut Creek, CA
1deer apple mike gordon wc

These deer came by to visit my apple tree for lunch!
Mike Gordon, Walnut Creek, California

YUM! /Gary

Posted on Tuesday, October 25th, 2011
Under: deer | 1 Comment »

Deer: This buck and doe are just getting acquainted … I think

Just a little nuzzle between friends. Photo by Mike Gordon, Walnut Creek, CA
1deer nuzzle mike gordon wc

Mating season is near!
Mike Gordon, Walnut Creek, California

“Rut,” or mating season for these black-tailed deer takes place in mid to late fall here in Northern California. The gestation period is 6-7 months and they give birth from April to June. Looks to me like these two are just getting acquainted. /Gary

Posted on Wednesday, August 31st, 2011
Under: deer | No Comments »

A doe and two fawns: HOT IN WALNUT CREEK

Doe and fawns cooling in shade. Photo by Mike Gordon, Walnut Creek, CA
1deer hot mike gordon wc


This doe and her two fawns found some shade!
Mike Gordon, Walnut Creek, California

Leave it to the wild creatures to figure out how to deal with a hot day. Go lie in the shade until it cools down!

Unlike us humans who go for walks in the sun, or drive around town running errands in the hot confines of our cars. Chill out, people. And while you’re at it, please make sure your pets have PLENTY of cool water to drink when they need it and some cool spots to get out of the heat! When it’s a hot day, do you know where your pets are? /Gary

Posted on Friday, June 17th, 2011
Under: deer, Hot Weather | 1 Comment »

Creatures of the Urban Wilderness (your own backyard!)

Friday morning visitors to backyard. Photo by Joann Seaver, Walnut Creek, CA
1deer joann seaver wc

These are my Friday morning visitors. Meanwhile, two crows were chasing a squirrel through the tree canopy, three tom turkeys were strutting their stuff and a small bird was busy building a nest under my eaves. Mother Nature doing what she does best!
Joann Seaver, Rossmoor, Walnut Creek, California

That why, long ago, I coined a new description for our backyards. I call them, “The Urban Wilderness.” Seems kind of appropriate, don’t you think? Just make yourself a cup of tea or coffee, settle down in a corner of your backyard … and start observing all the interesting creatures that live there.

You don’t have to go visit a local state park, or a nearby open space area to have this much fun. It’s taking place right in your own backyard. That’s wild! /Gary

Posted on Monday, June 6th, 2011
Under: Birds, deer, Urban Wilderness, Wildlife | 2 Comments »

Scrub jays eat ticks from backs of deer

Jay eats ticks on deer’s head. Photo by George Puterbaugh, Walnut Creek, CA
jay deer george puterbaugh wc

Over the last couple of weeks I have seen a blue jay hopping on the back, neck and head of a deer and pecking out of the fur insects or something. I have only seen a similar act by birds in Africa working over a water buffalo. Is this unusual for this area?
George Puterbaugh, Walnut Creek, Calif.

It’s actually pretty common. About a year ago I answered a similar question in my newspaper column and immediately received a bunch of e-mails and letters from other readers who had observed jays hopping around on deer and pecking and feeding on ectoparasites (ticks, fleas, lice) in the same way as oxpeckers dine on the backs of large grazing animals in Africa.

I did a little research and found a couple of scientific papers reporting on “Observations of Scrub Jays Cleaning Ectoparasites from Black-Tailed deer” as far back as 1944. The deer appear to love it. They certainly don’t protest. /Gary

Posted on Monday, March 28th, 2011
Under: deer, scrub jay | No Comments »

Barbed wire fence: Does it slow down wild animals?

Coyote moving through barbed wire. Photo by Dave Harper, Oakley, CA
coyote dave harper oakley

Barbed wire: does it slow down wild animals?

Some, maybe, but not all of them.

The above photo shows how easily a coyote maneuvers through a barbed wire fence.

I’ve seen black-tailed deer run full speed “through” a barbed wire fence and keep on going. (In slow-motion, what actually happened was the deer dropped to its knees, scooted under the bottom strand of the fence, came back to its feet on the other side of the fence and kept running without seemingly breaking its stride … all so fast it looked like the deer simply ran through the fence as if it wasn’t even there!). Amazing illusion. /Gary

Posted on Tuesday, February 1st, 2011
Under: deer | 2 Comments »