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Monday, October 10, 2011

An apple a day...

As mentioned in a previous post, I just received over 300 photos from my Father's camera trap in Wayland, NY. Since the camera was set under an apple tree, there are plenty of deer photos. These four tell an interesting story:

Doe and fawn
Photo by: Jack Van Niel
(Wayland, NY 9/2011)
In this first photo, you can see a doe and her fawn with their heads together. But with that trunk in the way, I just couldn't tell what was going on. There is a large amount of contact between does and fawns so this could have been lots of things. My best guess however was that they were eating apples or maybe some of the acorns Dad had also spread around.







Doe and fawn eating apple
Photo by: Jack Van Niel
(Wayland, NY 9/2011)
This second photo helps tell what may have been happening in the last image. What is happening? Is this a photo of two deer that just happen to be vying for the same piece of food? Is mom trying to take this from the fawn or is the fawn trying to take this from mom? My Father asked: Is the doe teaching the fawn that apples are good to eat? In the end, I do not know. A quick (and I do mean quick!) search of my references did not produce anything to support that theory. But I didn't find anything to reject that theory either :)




Doe and fawn
Photo by: Jack Van Niel
(Wayland, NY 9/2011)
Photo number three shows that the apple is now gone. But who got it? If mom was trying for it, did she manage to "steal" it away from her fawn? Is that an apple tucked into mom's left cheek? Is the fawn sniffing out a consolation prize? I have heard anecdotal stories that deer at feeding stations have a "take no prisoners" attitude when it comes to food.  But that photo above looks for all the world like a mother gently teaching her offspring the ways of the world, at least the ways of apples. So, who got the apple? I think I know...





Fawn
Photo by: Jack Van Niel
(Wayland, NY 9/2011)
Although the time stamps have been cropped out of these photos, these were all taken in a very short period of time (camera was set for 30 second delay). In this last photo, the fawn is licking her chops... just as one would after eating a nice juicy apple... :) Is this proof that mom was teaching her fawn to forage for food? Heck no. It isn't even proof that the fawn got that apple. But we can speculate. I will file this observation away and hope that more evidence will present itself in time...

1 comment:

  1. This really sounds like an outstanding spot.

    Great camera set, JVN!

    ReplyDelete

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