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June 2005

VTBIRD@LIST.UVM.EDU

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Subject:
From:
C and R STEWART <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Tue, 21 Jun 2005 22:45:11 -0400
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Mon night I was out at 8:30pm setting out cardboard squares for an acid
rain study I conduct in conjuction with data collection about Birds in
Forested Landscapes for Cornell.   My study site is off a secondary logging
road about 1/2 mile into the forest.  As I walked in I was totally tuned
into the sounds of the forest, the full moon rising and the cool
temperatures.  I poured my 1 liter water on the cardboard and placed it on
the leaf litter.  I then did my 20 paces south and was bent over pouring
the water onto the second cardboard when I heard a high pitched scream with
gutteral sounds from behind me where I had just walked.  I stood up and
turned around and froze.  Suddenly a deer came crashing wildly right at me
- zig zagged by in a panic and was gone.  I could hear rustling noise not
far away.  My mind is whirling - do I make noise and scare whatever is
there?   Do I keep quiet and hope to witness some event unfolding?   Am I
in danger?  I wait a few seconds.  I move a little.  Not more than 30' from
me in the road I see a coyote - big, more black than brown.  It senses me
and moves away slowly and warily.  When I step out into the road, I see the
prey - a fawn - very young - maybe only a couple of weeks old.  Not more
than 40'-50' from where I was!  Less than 5 min. earlier I had walked by on
the road where the kill occurred.   Where were the prey and preditor
then?   I heard nothing of note but the Veery,  Wood Thrush, Scarlet
Tanager  --- until the death cry.    I don't think I will ever forget this
encounter with Mother Nature at her most basic level.

Ironically,  I had seen a doe and fawn earlier in the day in another area
where I was chasing butterflies.

Ruth


Charlie & Ruth Stewart
E. Dorset, Vermont
U.S.A.

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