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White-tailed deer

Odocoileus virginianus


This deer is tan or reddish-brown in the summer and grayish-brown in the winter, with certain areas remaining white all year round. Fawns are spotted with brown tails and a white underside. When sensing danger, the deer raises its tail – this is called ‘flagging.’ Showing this large white patch on the underside of the tail signals an alarm to other deer and helps a fawn follow its mother to safety. The deer is a great jumper and runner. It can reach speeds of up to 58 kilometres per hour. Like a cow, the white-tailed deer’s stomach has four compartments. This allows food to be processed more efficiently and means that the deer can feed on things that other mammals cannot process.


The white-tailed deer is the most common of all of North America’s large mammals. It is also the most widely distributed.


July 2010: Spotted this deer and her fawn crossing a snie at Killarney Lake (Killarney Provinical Park, Ontario, Canada). The female seems quite interested/alert to something other than us.

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1 Comment

Very nice spotting. They do both look very interested in something out of the frame. It makes for a very exciting picture!

Spotted by

Ontario, Canada

Spotted on Jul 21, 2010
Submitted on Aug 21, 2013

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