On my usual morning stroll, accompanied with my more than 10 years old trusty Canon 20D, I witnessed something very few people ever have seen; a Norwegian type deer, similar to the American white tailed deer, giving birth to twin kids. One ting is to come across such a happening, which last just a few seconds of the visible birth, and then being able to photograph the scene as it happens – is close to unreal I understand.
An incident that grabbed hold of my throbbing heart. As I walked along a small creek I discovered a female deer walking slowly at the edge of the forest. The female appeared very nervous, constantly locking back at her tracks. I got the feeling that something was on her tail so I started to think about my camera which was in my small backpack. Before I had my camera ready I noticed that she had stopped and I could clearly see the front part of the first kid was half the way out. I was to slow making my camera ready! I soon realized that most of these animals usually have more than one kid annually. I carefully moved myself into a bush as I watched the mother give gentle care to her newborn. The distance to the birthplace was getting rather great, but I had an effective 480 mm lens i my backpack, so I switched to this lens. My problem was that I had not brought a tripod and I knew that I would have serious difficulty holding steady enough for a sharp image at this focal length. I set my camera to maximum ISO and shutter speed priority as high as possible and let the camera take care of the aperture. And then I waited – patiently as I watched the mother continued grooming her firstborn. This kid was on it’s feet in just a few minutes but was not able to stay up very long.
After about 30 minutes of waiting the mother deer laid down and then raised herself again several times. I was ready! Soon I saw a new kid was on it’s way to be delivered. I let my camera run and caught this bullseye:
The delivery lasted not more than 25 – 30 seconds. I am sure you all understand that you really need to be at the right place at the right moment and not least; have a camera ready! A large buck followed the happening at a considerable safe distance.
During the second calving a crow became very aggressive. Shortly after she had delivered the second kid the female deer chased the bird away. I was very surprised that the crow never came back. The crow probably had some previous experience from similar situations.
The calving took place around 8:30 AM. The same evening at about 20:00 PM I took another stroll to see if I could get a glimpse of the newborns. Bullseye again! Not only did I see both kids, but one of the kids came towards me with eye contact. I was really flabbergasted! The mother however stamped her feet and also made a soft grunt. This made the kid to quickly head for the bushes.