Thursday, March 23, 2017
Here are 13 of my daily visitors:
They stand in the little hidden glen in front of my house all the time. As you can see, they frequently lie down. Sometimes all of them lie down at once, especially on dreary, foggy days.
They are curious animals and will come all the way to the house. I have pictures of them looking in the window; last spring one gave birth right outside my bedroom, beneath the spruce tree. They stand and watch as we drive by the car. They won't eat out of my hand but they do not run far when I go outside. As you can see, when I stepped out to take a picture many of them looked at me, but a few simply ignored me.
1. These are whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus).
2. When a whitetail deer is startled, it will raise its tail to expose the white underside. This signal serves as a warning for other deer, and this instinct gives the whitetail deer its name.
3. Whitetail deer are the smallest members of the North American deer family.
4. Male whitetails, or "bucks," range from 100 to 300 pounds, while females, or "does," range from 75 to 200 pounds.
5. Whitetail deer tend to be most active during dawn and at dusk. (Mine appear to be the exception to this rule - I see them at all hours of the day.)
6. They have relatively small home ranges, usually only a square mile or less.
7. Whitetails gather into same-sex groups, or herds, to graze throughout the summer.
8. The rut, when these animals mate, begins in early September. During this time bucks will fight each other to claim the right to mate with does in the area.
9. Whitetail deer can run at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour, and swim at speeds of up to 13 miles per hour.
10. Whitetail deer have a very long stride when running, up to 25 feet.
11. Whitetail deer have a diverse diet, and have been known to eat over 600 different plants. They love to eat acorns, grasses, leaves, crops like soybeans and corn, berries, twigs, fungi, fruit, and nuts. They also eat roses, including the part with the thorns, as I have seen for myself.
12. Whitetail deer have a four chambered stomach, which allows them to digest extremely tough vegetation. They will eat quickly without chewing while feeding, and later they will cough their food up and chew it. (That is kind of gross.)
13. The whitetail's coat will change with the seasons, from reddish brown in the spring and summer when vegetation is growing to grayish brown in the winter. This helps the deer to stay camouflaged all year round. The change in color happens quickly, usually in 1 or 2 weeks.
Facts from this website.
Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here if you want to read other Thursday Thirteens and/or play along. I've been playing for a while and this is my 492nd time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday.