Monday, December 8, 2008

Mule Deer

Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus) are very common in Colorado, although White-Tailed Deer are becoming somewhat prevalent in the Eastern Plains. This group is part of a resident herd on NCAR’s mesa. We see them at all times of the year and they are known to snuggle up to the warm building at night. Many have large radio collars on them with antennas sticking out, which looks futuristic. I wonder how many of us humans have such invisible collars tracking our every move for some other species.

According to the Colorado Division of Wildlife, you can distinguish Mule Deer from White-tailed Deer by their gate. Mule Deer bound with a stiff-legged gait with their tail held down. White tails move with a graceful lope, the flag-like tail held erect.

Deer are vegetarian browsers who feed on the woody portions of both shrubs and trees. Interestingly, they eat little grass and so do not compete with domestic livestock. Antler growth begins in the spring so that they are ready for mating spars in autumn. By winter they are shed. Males of the species are called bucks, the females are called does, and the youngsters are called fawns.


Tina said...

You have some amazing photos and I loved the post on the wildflowers with the little white-crowned sparrow! He was so colorful in your picture. I love the vistas you photograph...and your sunset pics are to die for...perfect photos to wow us with in Skywatch Fridays!! Thanks for visiting my blog. I enjoyed your mule deer pictures as well...such huge ears! lol!

Tina said...

Sorry, I got so caught up in your great posts that I forgot to answer your question about my camera and lens.. I have a Nikon D60 with a 300 mm lens!

Shellmo said...

Such big ears on those beautiful mule deer! Great photos!

sylvia murphy said...

Thanks Tina,

You take some wonderful pictures yourself. I have had minimal luck with birds, they move so dang fast!