June 12, 2017

May 29, 2017

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Misty's Fawn

June 12, 2017


The grass is getting long now and it's hard to get a clear view of the deer, but I'm sure they can still see me alright!



The King, with his impressively long, six-pointed antlers, moving about in his domain, keeping an eye out for any young bucks moving through the area. Any unwelcome smaller males will be confronted and chased off. Bucks of a similar physical stature to him will be challenged and a battle could ensue, although this is unusual for roe deer. Red, fallow and sika deer are more likely to engage in one-on-one physical contact than the roe deer.  


Normally, series of threat postures will be enough for one of the deer to back down. Contrary to popular belief though, the size their antlers not determining factor as to who will dominate over the other . It boils down to a combination of physical size the nature of the buck. For example, there have been cases where a hummel (a male deer without antlers) has been the dominant buck in a territory. It depends on the 'personality' of the animal. Some beasts more aggressive, and therefore more likely to engage in battle, than others, rather like the behaviour we see in humans. 



During the last week, Misty has given birth to a single fawn. I caught up with her early one morning, out with the new arrival. You can see her just about to lick his bottom - when roe deer fawns are very young, as this one is, they need to be stimulated to urinate. The mothers will do this by washing their rear end and then, the youngster will pass water.


Also as the fawns' source of nutrition at this stage is mum's milk, the mothers tend to mop up the milky waste they produce since it could attract foxes. and other other predators. The young deer are especially vulnerable at this time of their lives. They spend much of their time sleeping in the long vegetation, and so the does are keen not leave any scent trail that would adverse their presence.   



With the new fawn needing his rest and now sleeping in the long grass behind her, Misty takes to the ground nearby for a little shut eye herself. 




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