Springtime brings with it an increase in sightings of nestlings and baby animals like this young fawn hidden in the tall grass. While fawns may seem abandoned, they almost certainly are not – deer often leave fawns unattended for long periods to help prevent them from being detected by predators.

With the arrival of spring, wild animals are giving birth and hatching the next generation of Michigan ’s wildlife. Baby red foxes appeared in dens during the first part of April. Young great-horned owls have already hatched and are growing up in stick nests high above the ground. Mourning doves have made nests, and some have already laid eggs. The first litters of cottontails will appear soon.

Springtime brings with it an increase in sightings of nestlings and baby animals. The Department of Natural Resources encourages Michigan residents to get outside and enjoy the experience of seeing wildlife raising its young, but reminds them that it is important to remain at a distance.

Words of wisdom from the DNR press release. "These are magical moments to witness but, unfortunately, sometimes the story has a different ending when people take baby wild animals out of the wild," said DNR wildlife technician Katie Keen. “Please resist the urge to try to help seemingly abandoned fawns or other baby animals this spring. Some people truly are trying to be helpful, while others think wild animals would make good pets, but in most cases neither of those situations ends well for the wildlife.”