Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Twin Fawns

Yesterday, was a very special day here at the Audubon Center at the Francis Beidler Forest. Our visitors were able to observe a set of twin newborn White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) fawns just a few feet from the boardwalk and even got to see one of them take his (or her) first steps! After the fawns’ first feeding, the doe settled them in a safe place and went off to forage. While this may not seem very motherly – she knows that they have no scent for predators to track and their white spots and brown coats make them almost impossible to be seen against the forest floor. The twins were not together – this smart mother knows that separating them decreases the likelihood of them being found by a predator.

When these fawns are about a month old they will begin spending the days with mom, and will stay with her for about a year. They will be weaned and foraging on their own by four months. If they need to flee through the woods, their mother’s white tail will be raised and used to guide them to safety.

Twin fawns are common when the habitat and foraging is good – and what better place to live then in a wildlife sanctuary!

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