which makes it even simpler to keep track of what I’ve seen and quickly and easily submit my tally.
And locally, the Southern Maryland Audubon Society is holding its own bird count on May 14 as well. The same information is wanted, and you can find out more and how submit your tallies to the regional coordinators by going to
www.somdaudubon.org and clicking on May 14 under upcoming events. All backyard birders, even beginners, from Calvert, Charles, Prince George’s, and St. Mary’s counties are invited to participate.
If you don’t have a birdfeeder at home or you want to get outside and do some exploring while counting birds, any of the public parks are good places to start. The Southern Maryland Audubon Society has a free guide on its website
with local hotspots and a checklist of birds. Where there is water, there will be birds. If you live in a relatively urban area, check out the drainage ponds near local shopping malls and housing developments where great blue herons and red-winged blackbirds are common sights.
Caring for baby deer
This is the time of year when my dad would write a public service announcement
urging people who find baby deer to leave them where they’re found. And that was good advice. In May and June, many fawns are found curled up in the field or forest alone, with no doe in sight. It may look like an orphaned fawn, but this is almost certainly never the case.
Baby deer appear small and helpless, which they basically are. And the mother deer will sometimes leave her fawn alone for upwards of 12 hours
at a stretch, but that’s the way nature intended it. The fawn is relatively scentless, well-camouflaged and quiet, so the mother stays away to keep predators from finding her baby. She returns to nurse periodically and move the fawn to a new safe spot. She’ll do this for about three weeks until the fawn is physically able to keep up with her as she forages for food.
Unfortunately, even well-intentioned people can find and remove fawns from the wild unnecessarily, essentially kidnapping the baby deer. The only time humans should intervene is when the fawn is visibly injured, crying nonstop for several hours, or has flies or fly eggs covering its body, and then the deer must be taken to a licensed Maryland wildlife rehabilitator. It is illegal to keep and raise a deer in captivity. The best place for wild animals is in the wild.