Readers’ wildlife photographs

Reader Diane G. describes her rescue of a lovely little fawn, and adds a caveat: “Most of the pictures are poor quality due to being taken through a dirty sliding-glass-door from some distance away.”


Last Wednesday I came home in the early evening, glanced out my kitchen window, and saw a very young fawn high-stepping down by the barn fence—tiny, all legs, and apparently just learning to walk. I grabbed some quick pics through a not-so-clean sliding door, at a distance of approximately 165 feet, so please accept my apologies for their quality.


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Trying to get the hang of this walking thing:

Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 6.18.41 AM

Houston, we have a problem:

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I was able to get a very short vid, of the same lousy quality, showing the deliberate halting gate of this little guy or girl.

Eventually it lay down in the lawn and there it stayed. When Mom had still not returned after half an hour, I began to worry about the approaching darkness and local coyotes. I called a rehabber and together we agreed that it might be a good idea to move the baby into the tall grass of the nearby field. (I suspect that’s where Mom had “parked” her little one in the first place, and then the deerlet had wandered into our mown area by itself. I doubt she’d have left him or her out in the open where I first noticed the cutie.)

It looked even tinier up close:

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JAC: The ruler is about 17 inches (43 cm) long:

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But as I approached s/he opened an eye just a tiny bit, and I could tell the toddler was very aware of my presence. So much so that when I got too close, s/he surprised me by scrambling to her baby hooves and scampering off, albeit shakily. I stood still till s/he disappeared behind a not too distant clump of brush in the yard, then slowly and carefully began to walk back up to the house.

When I was beyond the clump of brush I glanced over and realized I was being watched; I snapped a few quick photos, then retreated to the house.

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Before too long the fawn reappeared, this time at the field border, which s/he gingerly entered and then disappeared.

This photo, again taken through the slider, is one of the worst, but I love the way it shows her opposite-leg, clumsy gait:

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Bye, bye:

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I thought that would be the last I’d see of the deerling; but around noon the following day, s/he and her Mom were both at the original site, where the doe grazed while the baby nursed.

Sadly, I didn’t get any pictures of that, and that’s the last I’ve seen of them so far, though I wouldn’t be surprised to have them turn up off and on during the summer, if all goes well.


  1. Posted June 3, 2016 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Beautiful little beastie!

  2. dougeast
    Posted June 3, 2016 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Thanks – Nice to start my day with a smile…

  3. Michael Day
    Posted June 3, 2016 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Nice story. Just goes to show how easy it might be to think that a baby animal has been abandoned by its mother/parents. So nice to see that mother and fawn were reunited with only minimal help from a nice human.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted June 3, 2016 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      We did just that with a baby owl recently. Seeing it lying in our yard and worried the cats might get it, we proceeded to unknowingly do the exact opposite of everything the RSPCA and various owl associations advise you to do in such situations. It was only afterwards we discovered that arguably the most important rule with them is Leave Them Be. By then we’d interfered too much, and the mum had stopped searching for it. We effectively orphaned the poor sod.

      • Diane G.
        Posted June 3, 2016 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        Aw, that’s too bad! I’m sure that happens to the majority of people when they find their first apparently abandoned wild offspring. Then we learn and do better subsequently.🙂

        Mortality is huge this time of year. We see lots of songbird fledglings, and they just couldn’t be any more vulnerable. Of course, the attrition is the way it’s supposed to go, or we’d be drowning in birds.

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted June 4, 2016 at 7:42 am | Permalink

          The RSPCA owl expert came and took the little mite away so he’s hopefully okay, and not holding a movie-villain-style grudge against us for cutting him off from his mum.

          We got some pictures of him before he left actually, which I was thinking of sending to Jerry. However I feel a bit ambivalent about them as an unnamed member of the family put him in a teacup for a few shots.

          He didn’t seem distressed by it, and it wasn’t for long, and I felt- sorry, the person who did it felt very guilty, but you never know what’s going to set off Animal Justice Warriors on the internet these days.

          • Diane G.
            Posted June 5, 2016 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

            Aww, that sounds cute.🙂 And we all want something in a photo to show the size of the foundling.

            Sadly, you’re quite correct that anything on the internet can turn into a tempest in a teacup in an instant. But I, for one, wouldn’t judge! Plus, Jerry can shut down controversy at this site rapidly.

  4. Posted June 3, 2016 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Diane. That made me happy!

  5. merilee
    Posted June 3, 2016 at 9:30 am | Permalink


  6. Heather Hastie
    Posted June 3, 2016 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Lovely stary Diane! What a thrill to see something like this.

  7. Diana MacPherson
    Posted June 3, 2016 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Wow, so small!

  8. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted June 3, 2016 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    A very nice tale! And you have a good story to tell for years to come.

  9. Posted June 3, 2016 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    That looks a lot like Bambi …

  10. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted June 3, 2016 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Those are the cutest pictures I’ve seen in a long time.

    Diane, you could’ve sold this to Buzzfeed: ‘You Won’t Believe How Cute These Photos Of A Baby Deer Are…(#14 Will Blow Your Mind)’… Lovely photos – you’re very lucky.

    • Diane G.
      Posted June 3, 2016 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      LOL! We’re all getting pretty good at click-bait headlines, aren’t we? 😀

      Thanks, Saul.

  11. frankschmidtmissouri
    Posted June 3, 2016 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    The deer are pleased; the coyotes not so much.

    • Diane G.
      Posted June 3, 2016 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely. And I understand the surge in coyote numbers has been good news for birds, ground nesters in particular, because the canids eat bird-predators. The numbers of ‘coons, possums, rodents, et al, ballooned with the extirpation of their predators.

  12. Randall Schenck
    Posted June 3, 2016 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Very good set of photos on the little deer. The fawns will just curl up and sleep when their mothers leave them. You can almost walk right up on one in tall grass before they move. Somehow by not moving and also not emitting any scent, they can survive.

    • Diane G.
      Posted June 3, 2016 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      I know, it’s just amazing! We once had to relocate a newborn from the middle of the road, and a year or two ago I was birding behind the pond and damn near stepped on one. I was just as startled as the fawn!

      (The fawn above and the one in the middle of the road lend credence to my hypothesis that the neonate doesn’t always stay still. 😀 )

  13. Diane G.
    Posted June 3, 2016 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for all the nice comments, everyone!

    Just caught my first typo: “gate” should be “gait,” of course. Grrr–and there will probably be more!

    To those of you who commented earlier, the vid is now up, if you’d like to see it. A very short one!

  14. keith cook + / -
    Posted June 5, 2016 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Nice mini doco, thanks.

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