All wobbly legs and absolutely loaded with cuteness, the brand new fawns have arrived on Prince of Wales Island.
A recent email came from Glenn in Russia to AlaskaFloatsMyBoat.com. Glenn, from Whale Pass, Prince of Wales Island, Alaska, is in Velikiy Novgorod, Russia doing missionary work. He said the most amazing thing! The mosquitoes there are bigger than the ones in Alaska! Since we joke that our mosquitoes are big enough to require tail numbers and FAA clearance, bigger ones yet must be pretty impressive. Glenn says that they are slower, though. Whew!
Glenn sent the two photos of fawns below. They were taken here on Prince of Wales Island in 2012 before he headed over to Velikiy.
Wow! Sitka blacktail fawns are super cute every year!
Thank you, Glenn, and wishing you all the best in your work in Russia!
Alaskan Sitka blacktail fawns weigh only around seven pounds when they are born. Their Mom cleans them up, and then the fawns stand up for their first meal in short order. In a few days those wobbly steps will turn into springy bounds! Once they are up and going well, Mama Doe parks her fawns with orders to stay put until she gets back. The doe then goes off to browse, and comes back every few hours to nurse the fawns.
Laying down and then staying motionless is also a fawn's response to danger.
Mama Doe is seriously put off by the smell of humans, so reaching out to pet this soft adorableness could be very bad for the baby.
Mom deer often choose to have their babies on the roadside on Prince of Wales Island. People, cars, and hunting push the bears and wolves away from the roads, so it is a safer place for the fawns while they are getting their feet under themselves. I have wondered if having a firm surface to learn to walk on gives them an advantage, too.
Some deer and moose populations have their young within a short time span. It is called "predator swamping" because the wolves and bears can't get to all of the fawns and calves if they are all born at the same time. I don't know if the Sitka blacktail deer do that, but it sure seems like the fawns all appear within a few days.