Sunday, January 26, 2014

Do Deer Have Personalities?

With the extreme cold, heavy snow, and high winds we've had the last few days, I decided that taking pictures of deer through the window would be safer and more comfortable.

 My favorite deer is the first one to appear at the feed blocks this day.  I can always tell her apart from the other five to seven deer that frequent my "restaurant" because she has scarring on her right flank.  I've also noticed that she often comes alone.  Has she been set apart from the herd in some way or for some reason?  Or is she just an introvert or loner?  While her fawn is often with her, that is not always the case.

She's always aware of her surroundings and occasionally bobs her head up when she becomes aware of sounds and smells that might signal danger.

She sees me in the window as I move around, trying to get a better angle with my camera and long lens on a tripod.

But she's learned that I'm no threat, and she continues to nibble from the food block.

I return to my computer work while she eats, but suddenly the deer bobs her head up.  Her ears come forward and her tail is tucked as she assesses whether the danger is real or not.

She turns her head in my direction and raises her head slightly.  In a split second, she takes off, running through the foliage.  I wait at my camera to see what might materialize.  More deer?  Perhaps a fox?  Or might there be a hawk in the area?  I've seen all three from my window watch.  After giving it a good ten minutes, I give up and never learn what might have caused her flight.


  1. I believe that we and the deer have a rather symbiotic relationship. We help each other get through winter. I find that they add so much beauty and interest to cold, snowy days. Your lovely images suggest this is true for you, too, Karen. Oh, and I am convinced that they do have their own personalities.

  2. Hi Jan...You are right about the symbiotic relationship we have with "our deer." I much enjoy the time I spend watching them and hope I'm helping them get through the winter with the food blocks. I've had to move the location of my feed stations because of the heavy snows. The deer found the new location quickly, but it's not as conducive to photography, however. Karen

  3. What a sweet expression your favorite deer has! And how lovely that she is not threatened by your nearness. That's a wonderful gift.

    Personalities? But yes! Our old neighbor, Julius Houdek, recognized individual trees in our near neighborhood as individuals, so how much more easily we should be able to recognize individuality in our fellow mammals.

    I love these photographs, especially the first.