Gretchen Update

I wrote in December about a White-tailed doe that lives at Audubon, dubbed by one of our volunteers “Gretchen.”  I hadn’t seen her in a while and began to worry that she might have succumbed to our rather long and cold winter.


Can you see the long hoof? (Click for a larger view.)

Friday, I had to stay at the Center into the evening, and as I was setting up for a program, I saw her through the back window, cleaning out the bird feeders with her two youngsters.  Something strange caught my eye, and despite poor light conditions and fear that I would spook her, I tried to get a photo.  The hoof on her atrophied foot seemed long, like an untrimmed fingernail.

I took the first photo through the back window from near the stairs at the front of the building.  Then I started inching closer to the back window, hoping to get a clearer shot of the hoof.  Alas, she never turned just right to give me a proper view.  But I did snap these:

Gretchen stares me down.

"Gretchen" stares me down while one of her fawns cleans out the feeder behind me.

Our “three-legged deer” was at the feeders with two yearlings.  (Only one is pictured above.)  This seemed strange.  Earlier in the spring, we rarely saw her with two and suspected one of her twins had perished.  Maybe these two youngsters were not both hers?


"Gretchen" gives me one last wary glance before heading back to the brush.

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