Honestly, I heard AND saw a fawn today and proved that a Baby Deer Bleats!
Well, that is the best I can describe the sound. It sounded like a goat with laryngitis.
The bleating baby was walking cautiously along the edge of the field. And I heard this unfamiliar sound. Concerned for the safety of my cat, I held him in my arms as I scanned across the waist high grass, in search of peculiar predators.
A flash of red fur made me jump. I thought FOX. But they don’t sound like that. I watched the “fox” a moment longer and saw it was a baby deer walking up the hill along the edge of the forest. As it got closer, I SAW its mouth open at the same time as I heard the BLEATing sound.
Stunned me. I always have believed fawns were supposed to lie quietly in the grass until MAMA returned. That was to avoid the attention of predators.
Perhaps MAMA was late. Perhaps FAWN was hungry. I do not know. But I DO KNOW what I saw and heard together in a Pennsylvania field. Now I know it is true that a baby deer bleats.
Since this day I have seen, but not heard, a second fawn. Both are the same age and spotted and never stay far from the mother deer, the does. One fawn is a golden brown color and the other is almost gray.
Now the cat recognizes them and neither stalks them nor runs in panic from them.
Meanwhile, female turkeys are active in this field. Since the hay is so tall, the only thing you can see is their heads when they pop up to look around.
It is amazing. Just turn the head and the bird becomes invisible. If I did not know it was there I would miss it. Now, the cat is stalking these peculiar creatures. It seems to be a bird, but it is huge and keeps disappearing. Cat followed, (I watched) until he got close enough to SEE how big these birds REALLY are. He turned and dashed to the cabin and hid behind me on the porch. I imagine his meows were telling me about the monster birds out in the field. He does not stalk them anymore. He takes solace in chasing grasshoppers and crickets and watching for field mice or chipmunks from a rock where he ONCE saw SOMETHING.
At least I know where he is. I talk to the cat and warn him of HAWKS or Crows or Vultures overhead. It is also necessary to be alert for coyotes and the raccoons he likes to follow.
Life is simple and different in the mountains. My domestic cat actually comes when I whistle for him. And I keep him in my sight when he goes outdoors for exercise. I surely do not want him catching any of our mutual feathered wonders and trying to play with or eat them.
In deer and bear country it is essential to be alert for ticks. So the cat is blessed with at least a once daily combing and grooming session. Any fleas or other crawling creatures in his fur are promptly dunked into soapy water.
All this to share my personal discovery that baby deer can and do bleat.