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Baby foxes, baby deer and baby birds


Summer is a great time to see baby animals in the wild because they are usually born at this time. Animals born in summer have a better chance of surviving because it is warmer, there is more food, and it is easier them to hide in dark grass than the white snow. Here are some of the animals I have seen so far this summer.

  • Baby roe deer (called fawns or kids)

Baby roe deer are born in May. Roe deer are strange for mammals because although they have sex in July and August, the baby deer doesn't grow in it's mummy's tummy for another five months. When the baby deer starts growing in January, it takes another five months before it is born.

These roe deer fawns were about two miles from my house in a meadow behind a wood one morning a few weeks ago, so they would have been about two months old. They weren't scared, and their mum must have been close by, but dad didn't see her. Normally a pregnant roe deer doe has two children so these are probably siblings.

Baby deer have white spots on their coats. These spots go after about two months. These fawns have almost lost their white spots already.

When baby roe are first born, their mum leaves them in long grass all day until they are strong enough to run away from foxes. Dad and I once startled two young roe fawns when we walking through long grass one summer.

(I wrote about baby deer in May as well. You can read it here. )

  • Baby foxes (called cubs or kits)

Dad saw these cubs at the end of May. He was following a deer track and saw them playing near their den which was next to a forest track.

Red foxes have sex in late January and February and the babies are born in March or early April. These cubs must have been about a month-and-a-half old. He saw three of them, but there are usually between three and seven babies born at the same time. Fox cubs are born blind, deaf and without teeth, and their mum stays with them for them first two or three weeks until they can move around by themselves.

He watched for ages while they played and fought together.

The fox cubs fight to find out which one is the most dominant. The dominant cubs will be like the boss, and get most of the food.

  • Baby red deer (called calves)

This red deer calf was at the edge of a wood last Friday at dusk. Like roe deer, they are covered in white spots. The mums get pregnant during the rut, which happens in September and October,  and they are born in late May and June which makes this calf about two months old.

This calf was still with its mum, and they weren't with the rest of the red deer herd. Red deer calves stay with their mums until they are strong enough to run with the rest of the female deer in the herd.

The mum got startled and jumped over the fence into the woods, but the calf was too small to jump, so it stayed at the edge of the wood.

Red deer calves are born with all their fur. I even found fur on the skeleton of a calf that hadn't been born yet. Normally, a mum will just give birth to one calf.

About a mile further up was the main hind herd which were grazing in a field as it got dark. There was a calf with them that looked about the same age but must have been a bit stronger. When the herd got startled, they ran off leaving the calf behind when it couldn't jump a wall.

(I wrote about baby red deer in May as well. You can read it here. )

  • Baby swans (called cygnets)

Swan cygnets look pretty stupid because they are grey and fluffy. These are mute swan cygnets. The mum swan hatches eggs on a huge nest like this one I saw at the end of April. They use the same nest every year. 

The babies are born in May and June. When they are strong enough you can see them out with their mum on the lochs. Here is a mum with three babies.

  • Baby coots (called chicks)

I have added coots because they are so silly looking when they are young !

They have a bald head with yellow and red feathers. They look completely different from the adults which are black with a white spot on their forehead.

Mum coots lay up to ten eggs two or three times a season. They can be quite cruel to baby coots, even killing them if they keep asking for more food. Here is another baby coot that is a bit older and is starting to look like an adult.

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Anonymous said...

yo jake im janelle u may no my best friend emmy she has the raccon sculls im actally helping her with the raccon sculls and helping her find sculls just thinking i think that giant skull u fond is a dinasour skull

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