Wednesday, February 25, 2015

White-Tailed Deer

I was up and out of the house earlier than usual today to drop my car off for maintenance.  On my way out the driveway, I spotted a White-Tailed Deer curled up in a circle and sleeping in a low spot in the deep snow in the wetlands.  I hoped it might still be there when I returned (no luck).  Now I hope that it is a regularly sleeping spot and that I might find it there again tomorrow.

A little later in the morning, two White-Tailed Deer pushed through the snow, one making its way directly to my sunflower seed feeder (and the rather large amount I spilled when I dropped it while filling it yesterday).  A second deer stayed in the woods and was nibbling at the smaller trees.

To be fair, when I went out the other day to fill my birdfeeder, there were plenty of clues that deer were in the area and liked the seed.  Tracks were all over the path my hubby had snow-blowed out to my feeder.  Scat was all over it, too.

The poor deer are expending much more energy just to make their way through this amount of snow (when they are not on cleared paths!), and it's also making food harder to find.  I wonder how hard it is to stay warm when they are leg-deep in the white stuff most of the day.

Oh, those eyes!


This serious look was the result of the first deer hearing a second deer trudging through the deep snow in the woods.  She was relieved when it kept going and didn't make her share her treasure trove of sunflower seeds.

During my lunch break, on the way to pick up my car, three deer were together in that same low spot in the wetlands.  Apparently, being in a sheltered area, near food and water, is a good thing.  By the time I got my camera, and returned to the scene, they were no longer lying on the ground.

Beside the deer, I also saw a couple species of birds drinking the melting snow from my shed roof.  We have a stream running across our property, and I've always felt that should be a sufficient enough natural water supply so I have never put out a birdbath.  I find it interesting that they drink from the shed roof drippings.  Maybe it's more conveniently located to the seed supply?  Maybe it's safer than having to land on the ground and drink from a stream?

My photos are poor, through the window and long distance, but it documents what I find to be an interesting behavior.  Around this time last year, I had the same sighting.  Check it out here.

The above bluebird flew in so fast and furious that it slid across the tray, clearing all the mealworms off as it went.  It still managed to grab one in the process.

 Eastern Bluebird (male)

Northern Cardinal (male)

The backyard bird star of the day was the Tufted Titmouse.  This little bird sat for a long time on the hook, and its crest went up and down, almost as if in time with a slow yogic breath.  It was a very cooperative model!

 Tufted Titmouse

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