- Genus: Odocoileus. There are over 60 species of deer, and so there are as many species of fawns.
- Conservation status: Fawns of an endangered species of deer are also endangered
- Location: Widely distributed. Found in most of America and Canada
A Cute Baby
Fawns are young deer, and they are naturally found where deer are most found - in fields and meadows in the summer, while in the winter they generally found in forests. Most fawns are born between the middle of May and the end of June. They have a reddish-brown coat with white spots - quite a lot of them in fact, around 300! A mother deer will often leave her babies alone for long periods of time, particularly in the first few days. This is because a newborn fawn has no scent and is safer motionless and alone, rather than trying to keep up with its mother. She will periodically return to feed the fawn and within a few days the fawn will be strong enough to join its mother on her never-ending quest for food.
A new born fawn weighs around as much as a new born baby- between 4 to 8 pounds. It is often compared to the size of a large house cat with really, really long legs! Fawns are really cute with their spindly legs, polka dots and tiny twitching tails. The mother deer or doe may nurse her fawn three to four times a day. Deer milk is very rich. Once the fawn is old enough, it eats the same food as its mother… plants, including leaves, twigs, fruits and nuts, grass, corn, alfalfa, and even lichens and other fungi. Fawns are preyed upon by bobcats, mountain lions and coyotes. For safety, a doe will hide her fawns separately from one another.
Did You Know?
- Fawns can stand just 20 minutes after birth, can walk haltingly in an hour, and can outrun a human in just five days!
- The white spots on a fawn's fur helps camouflage it from predators.
- Yearlings are fawns that are a year old. At that point, they may mate and have fawns of their own.
- Twin fawns can have separate fathers!