Spring has sprung here in the Eastern Deciduous forest. Hardwood trees have leafed out in incredible green hues, wildflowers have bloomed, and new life has returned to the woods. That includes one of our most recognizable forest residents, the whitetail deer.
During late May and early June, Whitetail does begin giving birth to their fawns. Seven months removed from the fall rut (mating season), mother deer are returning to their birthing spots to begin a new generation. Most does will return to the same spot they have given birth before. Their behavior will change in that they will begin driving away other deer and remain solitary until well after birth. This isolation from other deer is critical, allowing the mother doe to “imprint” on her offspring. Sometimes this process may only take a few hours, but it can also take days.
So, as visitors relish the beautiful spring weather and explore our trails and creek in The Parklands, we encourage everyone that sees a fawn to view it safely from a distance. Often times the mother will leave her fawn in tall grass so that she may go and seek food as the birthing process can drain her of much needed nutrition. The white spots on a fawn help it blend in with tall grasses and flowers found in meadows keeping it safe from predators like coyotes. If you see a fawn that looks like it has been abandoned, it has not. Mom has just stepped away to grab a bite to eat.
Never approach or touch a fawn because this can derail the very delicate imprinting process, which enables the doe to identify her baby and vice versa. If you think a fawn is injured, still do not approach or touch it. For more information on injured or orphaned wildlife please visit the links below.
Curtis, hired as Education Coordinator in March 2015, previously served as an Interpretive Ranger for the Parklands. As Education Coordinator, Curtis oversees programming and staffing for The Parklands Outdoor Classroom, based in the PNC Acheivement Center for Education and Interpretation. A native of Louisville and a graduate of Ballard High School, Curtis returns to Louisville after having worked as an environmental educator in Maine and Colorado at Acadia and Rocky Mountain National Parks. Curtis also served as Membership Manager at the Rocky Mountain Conservancy. Curtis enjoys hiking, biking, camping and kayaking.
Being a donor-supported public park means we rely on donations, not tax dollars, for annual operations each year. Because of your generosity, we are able to maintain, program, and further develop this extraordinary public space without charging an entry fee. Together we work to enhance quality of life and help our community and economy grow in ways that are healthy, sustainable, and enjoyable for people of all ages. Help us reach our goal of sustaining The Parklands by becoming a Member today. Members make it happen!
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