|Although I often see them
running throughout the
I 'caught' them this day gobbling
up fallen seed beneath the
feeders at 4 a.m.
They returned later in the day
giving me a better photo op.
January 25, 2006
|Around 10:30 that morning, they all returned when I was outside filling the bird feeders.
I first spotted the doe (above), and right behind her were the twins ( below).
|Twenty minutes later, these two yearling twins followed in the same path.
They were just a little bigger in size than the twins above.
My first shots, from 2003. Not great shots, but it is the only buck I've ever seen come down this
low. They generally stay hidden up in higher ground, but I actually spotted this guy a couple of
times this particular summer. And usually in the company of the doe shown below.
Description Size varies greatly; a small to
Tan or reddish brown above in summer; grayish
brown in winter. Belly, throat, nose band, eye
ring, and inside of ears are white.
Tail brown, edged with white above, often with
dark stripe down center; white below. Black
spots on sides of chin.
Buck’s antlers have main beam forward, several
unbranched tines behind, and a small brow tine;
antler spread to 3' . Doe rarely has antlers. Fawn
Endangered Status Two subspecies of
the White-tailed Deer are on the U.S.
Endangered Species List. The Key Deer is
classified as endangered in Florida, and the
Columbian White-tailed Deer is classified as
endangered in Washington and Oregon.
The Key Deer declined in number as more and
more of its habitat in the Florida Keys underwent
development throughout the 20th century.
Development continues to be a threat to the
subspecies today. In 1961 the National Key Deer
Refuge was established to protect the deer. The
population has risen from a possible low of 25
animals in 1955 to about 250 to 300 today.
The Columbian White-tailed Deer once ranged
from Puget Sound to southern Oregon, where it
lived in floodplain and riverside habitat. The
conversion of much of its homeland to
agriculture and unrestricted hunting reduced its
numbers to a just a few hundred in the early 20th
It now lives in a few scattered populations, and
its numbers have climbed to over 6,000. Julia
Butler Hansen Refuge for the Columbian
Whitetail Deer provides critical habitat for these
deer in southern Washington.
Warning The White-tailed Deer population
has become a public-health concern with the
onset of Lyme disease, which is transmitted by
ticks carried by the deer.
These ticks are tiny and their nymphs are almost
microscopic; both nymphs, active May through
July, and adults, active on warm days from
August through May, can be infectious. They
inhabit woods and fields, especially where deer
are numerous, and occur on both deer and mice.
Lyme disease is a dangerous bacterial illness.
Initial symptoms vary, but about 75 to 80 percent
of all victims develop a circular, expanding, bulls-
eye-shaped red rash around the tick bite, up to
35 days after the bite. Other symptoms include
stiff neck, headache, dizziness, fever, sore throat,
muscle aches, joint pain, and general weakness.
Antibiotics are most effective in early stages of
infection. Untreated Lyme disease can be
difficult to cure, and may cause chronic arthritis,
memory loss, and severe headaches.
Similar Species Mule Deer has antlers with
both main beams branching; tail tipped with