Living Lawn Ornaments
The photo of Jackie Worth hugging a fawn on the lawn of her Main Street home (Sag Harbor Express July 30, 2009) brought a quick call from the Wildlife Rescue Center of the Hamptons to make sure the little fellow was all right.
Ms. Worth reported that she knew to guide him away from the street to a safer spot, and left him alone. His mother returned to him and moved him that night. We will forgive her the quick picture, although in most cases we advise people to not approach these living lawn ornaments.
White-tailed deer fawns do not stay with their mothers immediately after birth. Rather, the doe “parks” the fawn and comes in secretly to nurse two or three times a day.
Newborn fawns are odorless and rely on camouflage to protect them. The mother stays away as a predator deterrent. In recent years, deer have been increasingly using lawns, even patios and porches, as birthing spots. We do not know why, except to theorize that their symbiosis with people has led them to feel that quiet lawns are safe and secure. Each year, we return countless “abandoned” fawns to the locations from which they were “fawnapped.” People mean well, they just do not understand that the fawn won’t follow mom until 3-4 weeks old.
The exception is a fawn that is lying flat on its side with its head on the ground, a fawn with flies crawling on it or buzzing around the head, or a fawn that is incessantly bleating — a sound like a lamb or kid goat. In this case, the Wildlife Rescue Center (728-WILD) is licensed to intervene.
Perhaps the saddest part of fawn season is right now, when the 4-12 week olds are starting to follow their mothers. We have had dozens of fawns hit by cars on the East End in the last few weeks. Drivers focus on the mother, and hit the trailing baby. Rarely can we save them.
Let’s all please remember that for the next several months, when a deer crosses the road, there is good chance that a fawn will follow three lengths back. Whether you love them or hate them, these little guys shouldn’t suffer a painful death on the road. Thank you.
Sag Harbor Volunteer
The Wildlife Rescue Center of the Hamptons
Something has to be done about the traffic patterns in Sag Harbor Village before someone gets killed. I am a full-time, year-round resident of Sag Harbor. I love this town, but I have some concerns.
I have witnessed numerous times cars ignoring the stop sign at the corner of the Bay Street Theatre. This clearly puts pedestrians and oncoming cars in danger. I just don’t understand how drivers continue to get away with this violation.
The crosswalks in the village are too numerous, ill-placed and not well lit at night. A perfect example is the crosswalk between Sen restaurant and Suffolk County National Bank. The legally parked cars closest to this crosswalk block the oncoming driver’s view of pedestrians entering into it. What makes this situation more dangerous is when pedestrians just walk out into the crosswalks without looking, assuming the cars will brake.
Making the entire crosswalk more visible to drivers will them a better awareness of people attempting to cross the street. Another example are the three crosswalks by Route 114 and Bay Street. I feel that these three crosswalks are too close together. Traffic is already very congested in that area. My suggestion would be to take away one of these crosswalks and add a stop sign for the cars coming down Bay Street towards the village. This would force the cars lined up on Route 114 and Bay Street to intermittently let each other through.
I’m sure I’m not the only resident concerned about these issues. Thank you for reading my letter.