What a rare sight… and for hunters would be considered a great “trophy”… HOWEVER.. this doe is in a ‘no hunting’ area and protected within those boundaries.
These White-tailed deer are called Piebald, deer that have either white patches or completely white. There are few that would actually survive to be as healthy as this doe, which makes her a true rare and honored sight.
The genetic effects of the piebaldism happens when both the buck and doe have a specific genetic code. If it is passed on to the fawn, there’s maybe a 50\50 chance that fawn will develop some type of deformity; bent legs, twisted backbones and/or other abnormalities, however some carry on to live happy and healthily lives.
Breeding season ended in May/June, nesting was in July/August and with the incubation period that lasted up to 68 days, hatchlings are breaking out of their shells to make their way into the world while being supervised and guarded by their mother who is close by.
The mother can produce an average of 30-40 eggs… however a good percentage of them may be crushed by their mother or taken by raccoons.
Mother gators are very protective of their young, so keep your distance around any water areas like ponds and lakes and having a good telephoto lens is a good idea.
Raccoons, otters and even birds are main predators for these little ones. It is sad to think that these little hatchlings, as cute as they are, most will not survive to reach a year old.
The nests looks like a mound of grass and other vegetation and usually close to water. The mother gator will continue to use the nest to protect her young from the cold winter months as well as from predators.
Escaping the computer… and glad I did! Mostly all the photos I took that day of Butterflies had an unexpected guest just below. Remember, never forget to look more closely around the subject you are photographing… learn to take that extra time. I know that is hard to do when you have other people with you, or you feel there is a lack of time, but we all need to slow down and observe what nature shows us.
To help support my Florida Nature project…. I have created a store on Zazzle.