Photos and text copyright Romping and Rolling in the Rockies 2009-2017.

All photographs and text within this blog are copyrighted.

You may not copy or repost any photos or text without specific permission from the author of this blog. When in doubt, please ask.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Caturday: Deer fawn and mountain lion kittens

It's the season of fawns and kittens. The fawn showed her sweet face first. I believe that she was very very young based on her odd posture and crazy leg motions when running.

This was the first view of her, with her mother nowhere in sight.

In the next view of her, her mother's tail is barely visible further down the trail. That fawn looks scared!
Seeing that seemingly helpless fawn made me cheer for her to survive. Then, the fiercest animals in the forest arrived just a few hours later.

First, just the mama mountain lion was in front of the camera.

Then, one of her kittens emerged from the pine trees beside her. She had two kittens with her but one was lagging a bit.
My first reaction to seeing these animals on my trail cam in this sequence was "Oh no, I hope that the lions didn't get the fawn...".

But then I thought a little harder about it. The mother mountain lion has been nurturing these kittens for about a year. In other views of this family, the mother looks very thin. Indeed, she is thinner than her kittens and thinner than most mountain lions. Life is very tough for our top predator, and there are about a hundred deer fawns for every mountain lion kitten... So, I resolved not to root for anyone.

For either of these single parent families to survive, other families are going to have tragic losses. The mountain lions need food so they might kill the fawn or her mother.  If the doe and fawn escape predation, the mountain lion family will be hungrier and a few thousand calories closer to not surviving.

The natural world is cruel because it is not possible for everyone to win.

My cams captured some more footage of the mother mountain lion a week later and a few miles away. She had lost her kittens, probably only temporarily, but she was calling for them incessantly using high-pitched and piercing chirps. I can't show you that in a photo but it's in my video.

I believed that I heard the same chirping as I checked a cam today. It might have been my imagination. Maybe it was a bird or a rodent... but I thought that a mountain lion was nearby. I stayed calm and departed the area. I may never know if I was correct (unless the next check of the cam shows a mountain lion just behind me - that happened once a few years ago).

Here's the short video. You can watch it here or on Youtube.

Every piece of our ecosystem is precious.


  1. We enjoyed seeing them all, pretty amazing!

  2. I often have to work my mind around to the point of "not rooting" for anyone. Sometimes it's just a quick recentering; other times, it's a bit of work. Occasionally I just can't get there, but I see that as my own shortcoming. Cats are probably my biggest weakness but also my greatest source of strength.

  3. that is a pretty distintive call, and they are the most majestic and beautiful animals. When God created our world He made the natural food chain, but I am with you, rooting for the fawn and mother. the problem is when MAN gets involved they mess with the food chain, that is what upsets me.
    thinking of the food chain watching this video, I thought about the blog in Africa I just came from. she posted baby cows, they are sooooo cute... and they are headed for the dinner plates … that breaks my heart to... looking at them and thinking they will be fed and sold and eaten... part of God's food chain, but I don't have to like it.

  4. Nature can be so cruel but everyone has to eat to survive. It's sad but reality.

  5. The balance of nature tips both ways. We hope both will be winners this season.

  6. Oh my word that little fawn has some big ears and it was crouching like I do sometimes when I'm concerned or hear a strange noise.
    I had no idea the mtn. loin made such a 'kitten' like sound.
    Thank you for the beautiful videos and we are cheering both families
    Hugs madi and mom

  7. The Mum's chirp, was a wonderful recording. Life's cycles, hard not to hope for them all to survive, but that is how they live. The baby fawn, wobbly, and those huge ears. We see so much with you sharing this beauty of nature, so many thanks again.

  8. Very true, but there i something about those little fawns that really tugs at my heart. We hope the mountain lion was reunited with her cubs.

  9. Great blog, thanks for sharing your life. Are you in British Columbia somewhere?


If you are a Blogger registered user, you can skip the step asking you to verify that you are not a spammer. For posts older than 5 days, I have comment moderation turned on.

Thanks for your comments!!!!!