Alone “adolescent” deer; turtles move | News, Sports, Jobs

By on June 5, 2021 0

It is a dangerous time of year for yearlings prone to roaming freeways. (Photo by Betsy Bloom / Daily News)

Before the goats start dropping their fawns this spring, they’ve probably said goodbye to those who have followed them for the past year or so.

For teenage dollars, it’s almost guaranteed the doe will see it go, maybe not too gently. If he was allowed to linger until he was older, the male would have no problem trying to mate with his mother.

A one-year-old doe, however, may be allowed to stay. Several online sources mention that deer are known to form family groups of related females. And about 50% of last year’s female fawns in the Upper Peninsula will give birth on their own, usually to a single fawn in a first pregnancy rather than mature twins or triplets, said Brian Roell, Michigan wildlife biologist. Ministry of Natural Resources.

But in most cases, these adolescent deer in May will be sent on their own to determine their survival when mom is not around to guide them. Some seem up to the task. Others appear distraught, wandering during the day, standing in the middle of roads or galloping past traffic to stay with other deer.

That’s why road fatalities seem to be increasing at this time of year – and it’s a bit depressing to see yearlings who survived the challenges of an Upper Peninsula winter only to lose out in a vehicle collision. But he has several fawns every year for a reason: many will not make it.

Some herds of Canada geese are late for migration play this spring. (Photo by Betsy Bloom / Daily News)

Still, it’s worth remembering that a range of young animals – a one-year-old deer now, bears from the second summer in a few weeks, fox and raccoon kits in late summer – will attempt to understand life for themselves over the next few months. Do them and your vehicle a favor by being careful and perhaps slowing down when you are driving.


In keeping with the theme of watching wildlife on the road, June is also the time for turtles to come out and lay eggs.

So here’s a reprint of advice from Jim Harding, Assistant Wildlife Specialist at Michigan State University Museum, for helping turtles cross a road safely:

– As always, don’t risk yourself trying to help the turtle. If the turtle can cross the road unaided, leave it alone.

– If it’s safe, try to lead the turtle in the direction it was heading, he said, “as long as the direction the turtle chooses doesn’t endanger it.” There are times when the turtles don’t choose their paths wisely, in which case I can take the turtle a little further, away from the road.

– If it is necessary to move the turtle, handle it gently. For all turtle species except snappers and soft-shelled, grab the turtle along the edge of the shell near the middle of its body.

– If it’s a Snapping Turtle – one of the most common types in the area – “That’s right, don’t lift by the tail” said Harding. “Grabbing the back of the shell is tricky, and the turtle won’t appreciate you trying to help it. So, for large snappers, I often choose to push them out of the way with a big stick, or tease the turtle to bite an old towel or jacket and drag it out of the way while it hang on.


Earlier this week, several flocks of Canada geese could be seen passing overhead. A group formed for vocal guests overnight on Six Mile Lake before leaving early in the morning.

Still, it seems late for the geese migration, given that a number of pairs in the area already have well-developed goslings. Canada geese are often among the first birds to return in late winter and early spring.

Ryan Brady, biologist in the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Natural Heritage Conservation Program, addressed this new influx in his weekly birdwatching report: “Have you noticed flocks of Canada geese moving north over your head? They are “moulting migrants,” that is, non-breeding goslings who head to resource-rich regions of Canada to moult new feathers.

The Canada geese that stay here will experience a molt this month or July that can render them unable to fly for 20 to 40 days.

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