Sunday, September 18, 2011

Babysitting a Fawn

Yesterday a mama whitetail deer left her fawn for me to babysit all day.  Often mama deer leave their babies in my backyard.  The mamas know the babies are safe here.  The babies just hang out, bored, waiting for their mom to return.  Sometimes I have twins, yesterday I babysat a single baby deer. 

I don't know what the mama deer have to do that's so important that they leave their babies all day, but this is a normal occurrence in this neck of the woods.  Maybe the mamas go shopping for cool new winter coats, or maybe they're getting a pedicure and paint job on their hooves, who knows? 

And so the babies are left alone in my yard.

I went out at noontime and offered the baby a couple apples that were starting to go bad.  He ran and hid behind this tree, thinking I couldn't see him.  I just put the apples down for him. 
His mama obviously taught him about stranger danger. 

It seems my voice really scares deer, so I have learned to be quiet around them, and they are less afraid of me. If I talk to them, they literally scream and gallop away. I have heard many deer scream just because I talked to them.
I guess deer like people to be quiet like them. 
...Or maybe it's just my voice?

Although this little boy is getting big and fat, he still has his baby spots.

He's looking around here, wondering when in the world his mama is going to come pick him up! 
"Hurry up, already!  I'm bored!!"

Strangely enough, the baby deer was left ALL NIGHT LONG in my backyard.  I was really worried thinking now I had a permanent fawn, thinking that maybe the mama was killed when she was crossing the road in front of her hoof salon.  The baby waited until it got dark, constantly looking around for his mama, then he curled up in the bushes and slept.  In the morning he walked around, looking, wondering, aimlessly.

At about 8AM this morning, Sunday, two female deer showed up in the backyard.  I watched with bated breath, hoping to no end that one was the missing mama.  One of the two deer put her tail up in an odd position, I have no idea why, and walked slowly around to where I knew the baby was hiding in the bushes.

And then the baby came bounding out, all long legs jumping around his mama.  His tail was wagging a thousand miles an hour, just like a happy dog wags his tail! He bounded around his mama a couple times, they smelled noses, then he dove under her and drank her milk for a long time.  His tail continued to wag.  She stayed still and let him drink for at least five minutes.

The other female deer stood nearby, grazing on brush.  Possibly she was last years baby?  Often the yearling baby females return to stay with their mother after the next baby/babies are born.  The yearling baby boys go off with the bucks to learn to be men.

The mama deer wouldn't let her female companion deer too close to her baby, and the baby had no intention of leaving his mama's side as the three of them walked away into the deep woods.

And so life goes on here at Razzberry Corner.


Knatolee said...

Lucky fawns, to have you as babysitter. And you have a lovely voice! :) I'm glad Mama Deer came back to retrieve her offspring.

Mary Ann said...

This is such a great story... we see deer here (and are beginning to see them as roadkill so very early this year, but have only seen one fawn closeup.

Gail said...

What a wonderful gift to witness this.

LindaG said...

I agree with Gail. How wonderful that the mother knew baby would be safe with you. :)

Country Girl said...

That is really neat that the baby stayed with you so long. Glad mom finally nade it back! She must really trust you!