Monday, March 13, 2023,

This is Beaker. He’s a Mallard Duck with an unusual profile. Beaker got his name from a popular Muppet’s Show character, for what may be obvious reasons.
Beaker came to Sweetbriar Nature Center after having suffered a rather grievous encounter with a Snapping Turtle when he was still a very young duckling. It seems that the Snapping Turtle took a chomp at Beaker and took off a good deal of his beak.
Beaker, luckily—and amazingly – survived, his Holy Cow! wound. However, despite the fact that he is able to still feed in an almost normal fashion, we are not sure if he can be returned to the wild. On the other hand, Beaker is very personable and has many fans amongst the rehabbers.  JK


Two Fawns at Sweetbriar

Thursday, August 11, 2022,

I spent this past Sunday as I always do: volunteering at Sweetbriar Nature Center. It’s my favorite day of the week. I love working with the animals, and I love interacting with the public. I meet so many good folks. I may be tired at the end of the day, but I am always smiling.

As I was getting ready to leave, I spied a pair of fawns in the south field. Luckily, I happened to have one of my cameras with me. I didn’t have my big lens, but my 200mm was lens enough. It rocks in the low light of the early evening, which is just one of the reasons I like it so much. 

Anyways, back to the story at hand. Upon seeing the fawns, I grabbed my camera and began shooting. As must be obvious from these shots, they knew I was there, but allowed me to take my pics. They took turns being brave. In the first two photos, we have Fawn One. In the last photo, you can see Fawn Two. Gross as this may be to mention, the placement of tics on their ears helps to differentiate between the two. Also, the notching on Fawn Two’s ears, which are probably a result of insects or infections, are another way to discern differences between the two.

There’s a chance that I know who the mother of these two beauties is, but I won’t know till later in the season, when Mama White-tails start showing up with their kids as a whole family. In the spring and much of the summer, the does tend to keep their kids hidden. This is largely a safety issue, although who knows? Maybe the Moms are just waiting to make sure their kids aren’t total jerks. Or, worse, possibly by hiding their kids, they’re trying to remain on the singles circuit.  🙂    JK