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


7 thoughts on “Two Fawns at Sweetbriar

  1. Lovely shots! Was the mother not around them? And, if not, is it strange to find two fawns grazing alone and not in hiding? I had thought when they were alone that was to hide them, but that they grazed as a family. Also, would they both have the same mother? Is it common for them to have twins? Thanks for this neat photo-story! Keep that big camera with you on Sundays — more! More! 😉

  2. Thank you, Michele.
    These two appeared to be on their own, and they are probably siblings. It’s not uncommon for a doe to leave her fawns unattended for parts of the day. In fact, during their first month, a doe will often come by only when it’s time to feed them, which tends to be four or five times a day. This is probably to help keep them hidden.
    A doe will also give birth to her children in separate places, and keep them separate for that first month or so. More than likely, this is a contingency plan to prevent a total loss of her progeny. In case a predator comes upon one fawn, it doesn’t come upon both fawns.
    Does usually give birth to two fawns at a time, although they may have only one during their first pregnancy. Triplets can also occur. JK.

  3. TRIPLETS??? For a big hooved animal like that?! Wow. I never heard of that. I thought twins were uncommon except for saiga antelope. Interesting! I thought when left, they were supposed to stay in hiding, but I guess these two are getting older and adventurous. Did you have a guess as to their age?

  4. Michele, I myself have never seen a doe with three fawns but according to what I’ve read, it does happen. Also, since they have four teats, I suppose it’s possible for them to have even four fawns. JK

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