Saturday, April 10, 2010

Camera Critters: Turkeys And Whitetails

Mature Easter Wild Turkey Gobblers
Spring is a dramatic and beautiful time of year and my primary focus at this point is documenting turkey activity and the emerging leaves and flowers.  Later my attention will shift more toward the whitetail deer as antlers increase in size and the new fawns are born.

Antler growth has been very slow until recemntly, but the older bucks have made a noticeable gain in antler size in the past week.

The Buck's Antlers Develop

Deer are not their most photogenic at this time as the winter coat has a faded, ragged appearance and a lot of the hair is loose and falling out.  By late May or early June, the winter coat will be completely replaced by the beautiful, red, summer coat.

The does are pregnant and their abdomens will grow larger as spring progresses.  Most fawns in this area will be born in late May though mid-June.

Pregnant Doe-Starting To Shed The Winter Coat
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Unknown said...

Lovely photos, I like the turkeys in particular. They are great birds, I would love to see them in the wild one day.

EG CameraGirl said...

Very nice shot of the turkeys. I have never seen one in the wild with a fanned tail.

And I have never seen how the antlers develop. Does it hurt like teething does?

Carletta said...

Wonderful shots!
I haven't seen any does that I think may be carrying young as of yet. Last years little ones are the only ones that are really showing theirselves lately.
I'd love to see that many gobblers at once. :)
I did have one in my yard this week that put on a show.
Mine’s here: Carletta’s Captures.

Adrienne Zwart said...

Great shots, Willard! I love the turkeys. :)

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

My gosh Willard, I feel like I could reach through the screen and give that doe a pat on the head!
What a super close up shot.
The wild turkeys I've seen here don't seem to have any colour, they look like they're all black, including the neck.
Maybe there's different kinds?

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Beautiful photographs!

Johnny Nutcase said...

beautiful photos. love the up close of the deer, and those turkeys are lookers!

Anonymous said...

Antler development is amazing. I wonder why this never happens in cows? I mean we had to cut them off and they never grew back?

Barbie ♥ said...

How close you must be to the turkeys - it is so neat to see them with all the detail they deserve! You make the shaggy doe look like a wooded movie star ;-)

Willard said...

Growing antlers does not seem to be a painful process although it seems that they are fairly protective of the antlers while they are in velvet, so it may be painful to hit something with them.

It is strange how some animals keep a set of "horns" for life while others shed each year. Actually deer have antlers(solid core covered with a network of tissue and blood vessels while in velvet which nourish them), while cows, etc. have horns which have a solid covering, but a bloody core. Why different species were made differently in this aspect is anyone's guess.

Misty DawnS said...

Your images are always stunning! I hope to get some photos of fawns this year.