Sunday, May 17, 2009

Roe Deer Shedding Velvet

Luck was with us this morning, when we were out walking in the Derwent Valley hear Edmundbyers. We managed to get within about 50 metres of this roe buck that was sitting on the hillside enjoying the sunshine. He didn’t seem to notice us approaching downwind, with our silhouettes below the skyline. His coat looks a bit mangy but I think that’s because he’s shedding his long winter coast and acquiring his shorter summer pelage, but the really interesting features are his antlers. He would have shed the old antlers by Christmas and has now grown a new set. One is still covered in skin (‘velvet’) but he’s very recently rubbed the skin off the other, against the bark of the tree probably, and it’s still covered with fresh blood (double click the top image for a larger image, that makes this clearer).


  1. Congratulations for the photos are interesting, I encourage you in my photo blog, a greeting from Italy, good luck

    Hello, Ivo

  2. Great captures of a beautiful animal.
    You did well to get those.
    He looks as though he knows you're around somewhere. ;)

  3. Hi Ivo, thanks for visiting.

  4. Hi Keith,Yes, once he'd spotted us he became wary, ambled away a bit and them leapt over a fence into a pasture. I like the way their ears swivel, like radar dishes, to pick up the faintest sound. He's got one ear pointing towards us and one in the opposite direction, towards the trees, so he's got all directions covered. There's been a bit of a population explosion of roe deer in these parts in recent years and when they rub that velvet off they can do quite a lot of damage to young saplings, which doesn't endear them to foresters!


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