Friday, June 13, 2014

First Fawn

Hidden Fawn: Panasonic GH4-Lumix 100-300mm f 4.0-5.6 @ 150mm-ISO 200-1.40 Sec. f 8.0
Is the fawn above just hours old or is it days old?  In most cases one does not know the answer, but in this case I am reasonably certain that I do.

I watch the local herd quite closely and can identify several individual animals.  One doe in particular stands out above all of the rest and she had a large abdomen--a sure sign of pregnancy.  I usually see her each day, but she did not appear on the morning of June 3rd and when she showed up that evening her flanks were sunken which was a sure indication she had given birth.

Shortly after sunrise on June 7th I found her feeding in a clover field and a fawn was with her. Since I was walking I had only the new Panasonic GH4 with the 100-300mm lens with me.  This is a hybrid camera which takes takes both video and stills. It stands out because it is one of the first pro-sumer cameras to take 4K video, which at this point seems to be the wave of the future (or at least umtil 6K or 8K comes along). I mostly took video, but did take a few stills, the two best of which are posted below.

Doe With Fawn: Panasonic GH4-Lumix 100-300mm f 4.0-5.6 @ 100mm-ISO 200-1/200 Sec. f 8.0

Fawn Nursing: Panasonic GH4-Lumix 100-300mm f 4.0-5.6 @ 214 mm-ISO 200-1/200 Sec. f 8.0
As the sun grew hotter she fed to the edge of the meadow and then entered the woods to spend the day with the fawn accompanying her. In time I walked to the edge of the woods and saw the fawn hidden on the forest floor.  This natural camouflage is their foremost defense against attacks from predators at this time of life.  You will also note that in many photos I post of does and fawns that the doe is licking the fawns rear.  This is to keep waste matter cleaned away so as to minimize scent so actually scent control and camouflage work together to aid in the fawn's survival.

While I continued to see the doe regularly, I didn't see her with a fawn again until the evening of June 9th.  I was on stand watching the same meadow when she appeared with what appears to be the same fawn.

Fawn Nursing: Canon 5d MK III-Canon 600mm f 4.0 IS L-ISO 400- 1/500 sec-f 5.0
Alert Fawn: Canon 5D MK III-Canon 600mm f 4.0 IS L-ISO 400- 1/500 sec-f 5.0
Does normally have one to two fawns, but sometimes they have triplets or even more in extremely rare cases.  This doe had triplets in 2012, but only had one fawn in 2013.  How many will she have this year?  I already partially know the answer, but that is for another days post.

Most if not all of the does in the local herd  have now given birth and fawn sightings are increasing, but it will be sometime until the fawns become the doe's constant companions.

Originally published at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.


Dan Gomola said...

I always look forward to your doe/fawn images. Photos like the nursing photo with the hind leg lifted show very tender moments that, to me, give them a human quality.

Lindsjö taxar said...

Hi Will!
Thats Amazing Pictures you show us. How exciting that you could follow the doe so near over the Days until she had a fawn. Ok, you hade your 300 mm but how far away where they?
I had luck today too. I was on my way to Town and a roe with her fawn was very near the road in the field.I turned and took some Pictures. She stayed for a long time in the area so I could take a lot of Pictures.
At last she hide her fawn in the grass and Went by herself in the forest. I had my 70-200 mm.
Its not often you see them here when they are so small.
Pictures will come.

Steve Ferendo said...


I saw my first fawn of the year today. I did not get the great collection of photos that you managed but I will keep trying.


Willard said...

They were not very far away,Majsan. Probably between 45-60 ft.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Awww! These are priceless images.