European Roe Deer

 

European Roe Deer live in the forests around us in the Pays de la Loire, France. We are very lucky to be in  an extremely rural location with our property adjoining the beautiful Forêt de Bercé where seeing them is a daily pleasure as they wander around searching for fresh grass to eat.

Their coat is a reddish browny, grey and they have a tiny tail and white rump, as you can see from the picture below.

 

 

Males are similar colouring but they also have short antlers which usually have three tines.

The male deer, or stag, fight or rut to determine their territories in summer. Each male has two or more females. They mate in late July or early August.

This is the sound a male roe deer makes, it is called barking.

Below is a video of two male deer’s fighting over territory.

 

Mating in summer is not very convenient though because this means that their babies would naturally be born in December when the weather is bad a food scarce. So mother nature has made it that the female deer can delay implantation of the egg. The fertilised egg forms a blastocyst which remains inactive in her womb until the end of January when it develops into a baby deer, or fawn. This means that the fawn is born in May/june when the weather is better and there is plenty of young grass and other vegetation for them to feed on.

They usually have one fawn but sometimes there are two. Fawns are often left by their mothers in hidden grassy nests whilst they feed.

The deer are expert at hiding in shrub land, thickets and woods. Sometimes you can get quite close to them and may only discover they are there if they run from you.

bye, ’til next time

 

Susan and Toby

 

 

 

 

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