Photo Durham Logo - Link to Home Page

Monday, June 07, 2010

Newborn Fawn (Odocoileus hemionus)

I have told this story before, but I was recently given some grief over this image of a newborn fawn. Clearly, I was using a wide angle lens and in close proximity to the animal. Typically, I give wild animals plenty of space, but this was a unique occasion.

Driving very early in the morning on a logging road in Eastern Oregon, I came around a bend and startled this fawn and her mother. Following instinct, the fawn dropped to the ground into a "hiding" position in the middle of the road and the mother leapt into the forest. Since the road was being used by large trucks and other vehicles, I didn't think the fawn would have survived long in that location.

Turning on my flashers I grabbed my camera, scooped up the fawn and moved it deeper into the forest about 40 yards off the road. It made no sound, and did not move. After placing it, I took a few shots and then left it in peace.

The mother will return, call her fawn and find her without much trouble. I have worked around calves and fawns with professional biologists long enough to know that the mother will not be put off by human scent. The mothering instinct is too strong to abandon her fawn based upon odor. 

I did not stick around to make sure there was a happy reunion, but I like to think there was.

newborn mule deer fawn (Odocoileus hemionus)
newborn mule deer fawn (Odocoileus hemionus) hides in the forest

No comments:

Subscribe in a reader

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Details About Me

Portland, Oregon, United States
Husband, Father, Student Of Natural History, Photographer