Thursday, February 14, 2013

Deer drama!

One of the advantages of not working is that you do have time to sit around and watch...
As winter is coming closer to its end the days lengthen with extraordinary speed (almost 3 hrs since the shortest day!) and that extra daylight gives me the opportunity to see and study some amazing things... for me at least.
One of these things are the deer, which come to our house nearly everyday and nearly always around the same time and, because of the increasing daylight, we can look at "our" deer a bit better every time. As you might have read we are being visited by two deer groups; one with a male and 2 females and one with just 2 females. Last week we had the pleasure od seeing these two groups meet each other, right in front of our house! That event showed some great groupdynamics, because dynamic it was! They looked at each other, sniffed the air, came closer and then.... all of a sudden they ran off together! It was an explosion of movement, yet still elegant. Had we witnessed the male's harem grow??

Unfortunately it did not seem to be so. After two days we saw the groups visiting our garden separetly again. all deer seems to be looking healthy, except for one of the females in the 2-deergroup. It seems as if she is limping somewhat, allthough it is hard to tell with the uneven ground, covered with a thick layer of snow. I also think her coat is a little less smooth than the others.
The male on the other hand is a very healthy and dominant one. Whenever he approaches the feeder the rest is to step back. If not he'll make sure! He'll but and shove them aside and only after he has had his fill, the females are allowed to approach. After that he does feed together with them, though. His antlers are growing fast; a week or two ago they were not as large as his ears and today I saw they were longer than the ears! I wonder if the females are carrying young, but I guess it's to early to tell. The females in his group are definetely slightly bigger than those of the two femalegroup.

And today I saw them again; the threedeergroup at the feeder...... but there was a single doe waiting a couple of meters further down the trail! Was she a loner? Or was she part of the twodeergroup? If so, where was the other one? Either way, after the 3deergroup had fed, she moved in to feed and that did not seem to bother any of the others. A little while later, another doe showed up, so I guessed it was the 2deergroup after all. Yet this time things went quit differently! While the first deer was still feeding, the second one got chased off by one of the first groups females! She was not allowed to come near the others, while the first one was. Only untill the distance between the last doe and the rest was at least 200 meters, did the chasing stop. Than the group started moving on and the feeding deer followed. She kept a bit of a distance, remaining just outside of the group, but she did follow them. I could not help but to admire the grace with which these animals move....

Did I just witness the 3deergroup increase and the breakup of the 2deergroup? Does that mean the chased off deer is on her own? Surely that is not a good sign for her. I saw her wondering off by her own.....
I guess we'll know in a couple of days.


  1. Nice pack.
    They mate in july-august, and they have a so called delayed pregnancy, meaning the development of the fetus slows down to preserve some energy during the thoughest period of winter. They give birth smomwhere between april and june (some regional differences), so my guess is that all the does are pregnant in the pack is pregnant.

  2. Wow, you have a TV show going on outside your window! Better than the parking lot and industrial-looking buildings outside our windows. :(

    1. It sure beats any concrete jungle!