Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Day 340 - Fabulously Delightful Fallow Deer

Male Fallow Deer (Dama dama)
Hey everyone today's Day 340 and I am sort of going to be continuing Day 338's genre of finding nature outside of the reserve. Firstly, I want to say that today's post is relatively special as it's Day 340 it's just a 10 number but I still thought I would cover something relatively significant. Well, that's exactly what I'll do. When we were over at Leighton Moss RSPB we started to drive home after a lovely trip there. We thought our nature hunting for the day was done but no, I spotted out of the car window a lovely Fallow Deer. I jumped out of the car (it was a country lane) and took some pics.

So, here are the facts:

  • Firstly, I want to say that these were the first Fallow Deer that I have ever seen in the wild. It was even more impressive seeing the Buck as well as the hinds, though they went into the trees before I could get my camera ready.
Quite happy grazing whilst I photographed it
  • The other place that I have seen Fallow Deer is Fountains Abbey but this is a Deer Park and they are kept in the grounds there.
  • They like to live in mature broadleaf woodlands with clearings but they will live in open coniferous woodland and open agricultural land. 
  • They like to eat grasses but will eat trees and shrub shoots in autumn and winter.
  • Fallow deer are a native deer but that was around 400,000 years ago! When we had ice ages they were pushed out to other warmer parts of Europe. They were brought back by the Normans who kept them in parks for hunting but some escaped and set up home again!
  • The first thing about the Bucks is that their horns look absolutely amazing. They are really thick and they are very impressive.
  • I found it relatively hard telling apart the 3 main Studley deer types but I managed to get this short guide into my head:
    • Fallow = Spotty bodies.
    • Red     = The biggest ones, and they are Red.
    • Roe     = They have a Black Nose and a White chin.
  • The Males are about 84cm - 94cm at their shoulder and the Females are about 73cm - 91cm, So a case of sexual dimorphism is what we have.
Lovely antlers and spotty coat
  • The difference in size makes quite a difference in weight too. The Males weigh 46kg - 94kg and the Females only about 35kg - 56kg.
  • Well, one final thing on the Male Deer, they can live usually from 8 - 10 years but they have been recorded all the way to 16 years.
  • In most populations of Fallows, they maintain the usual rut. This is basically where they will literally fight over the Females.
  • Now, I said in most cases, well, it's true that some populations where there are lots of Males they will create a lek where they try to attract the Females.
Here are some links to some more information:

Hope you enjoyed,