Mostly Fawns and Spike Bucks, 10-08-19

I got up around 7:00 am and was out the door in about 15 minutes to go to the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve for my regular volunteer trail walking gig there.  It was 54º at the river, and got up to a high of 86º by the afternoon

Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus

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Video of does grooming each other:

I saw a lot of Acorn Woodpeckers pulling acorns from the oak trees and stashing them in their granary trees.  The woodpeckers wait until this time of year, when the sap is running down in the tree, to drill new holes in the trees, and I saw a little bit of that, too.  They don’t drill new holes in the trees in the spring and summer when the sap is moving up in the tree, so they don’t damage any living tissue in the tree. 

I also saw lots and lots of fawns with their moms all over the park, and a few young “spike bucks” with their new, out-of-their-velvet single spike antlers. The pedicles on the head that hold the antlers aren’t strong enough to support an antler until the buck is at least 2 years old. So, even though the spike bucks have only one prong on their antlers (a “spike”) they’re probably two or three years old. 

Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus, “spike buck” with a swollen jaw most likely caused by “impaction”.

One of the bucks was traveling with his mom and his younger sibling, a fawn just born this summer.  Another one had a swollen jaw on his right side. It was hard for me to get a photo of it because he kept turning away from me. This swelling is usually called by a condition called “impaction”. Food gets caught in the lining of the cheek and the wound expands as more food gets caught in there. If it’s not dislodged or otherwise treated, eventually the impaction will keep the deer from chewing, and he’ll starve to death. So sad.

The fawns are out of their spots now but are still “snack sized”; half the size of their moms.  They’re so cute with their huge ears sticking out.  Some of them were very curious and got within about 6 feet of me before they backed off.

Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus, fawn

I walked for abut 3 hours and then headed back to the house.

Species List:

  1. Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
  2. American Robin, Turdus migratorius
  3. Asian Lady Beetle, Harlequin Labybug, Harmonia axyridis
  4. Bewick’s Wren, Thryomanes bewickii
  5. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  6. Blue Oak, Quercus douglasii
  7. California Buckeye Tree, Aesculus californica
  8. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
  9. California Towhee, Melozone crissalis
  10. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
  11. Common Green Lacewing, Chrysoperla carnea [nymph]
  12. Coyote, Canis latrans
  13. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
  14. Feral Honeybees, Apis mellifera
  15. Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  16. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  17. Northern Flicker, Colaptes auratus
  18. Oleander Aphid, Aphis nerii
  19. Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus
  20. Sulphur Shelf Fungus, Western Sulphur Shelf Fungus, Laetiporus gilbertsonii
  21. White Horehound, Marrubium vulgare