Year of Deer

It’s been a summer of overcast skies, but such as it was, it is now departing. Hazel leaves have a golden edge and a few fungi are venturing forth. Red deer will be bellowing, fallow deer clashing antlers – but the little roe deer quietly feeding, its own rut long since done. 

I’ve been catching this family on my trailcam all summer. The doe dropped her twin fawns in May, and now they’ve just about outgrown their white spots. Their mother is probably pregnant again, but her embryos will not start to develop until January. Roe deer are the only deer to use this strategy of delayed implantation, but it serves them well. Much better to use autumn fattening up for the winter than fighting over mates. 

Roe deer seek woodland edges; water deer opt for the marsh.

Water deer 12 Sept 21

Water deer are not a social species – the bucks actively dislike each other, and the does loosely congregate at best. Like roe deer, they are small, and they easily melt into the reeds. 

As for muntjac: they accept any habitat. This is one of my garden guests!

They’re all changing with the seasons. Roe deer will moult into sombre grey pelts before long. Hopefully I’ll find their giant cousins before the autumn is done.

14 thoughts on “Year of Deer

  1. “…but her embryos will not start to develop until January.”
    I can’t imagine that’s something they can control, must be some kind of automatic body response, like breathing. Interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, at the very least, blackbirds have far more musical voices than muntjac! They are incredibly good at hiding from me and I rarely see actually them, even when the trailcam confirms that they’ve been in the garden in the middle of the day. I’m planning to put in a pond soon and it’ll be interesting to see if they stop for a drink.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Great to have a pond. I don’t know about muntjac, but lots of more modestly sized wildlife will surely come your way. We live in the middle of a housing estate, but newts still found our pond and are thriving there alongside a variety of dragonflies and damsel flies. A pond will add a new dimension to your garden. Enjoy!

        Liked by 1 person

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