Norwich Wildlife – Roe Deer in the city!

A close encounter with a Roe Deer Buck in the outskirts of Norwich in Norfolk.

I first saw this Roe deer from more than 200 meters away as I walked along a busy footpath. At first, I thought it was a non-native muntjac which are now very common in #Norfolk but as I took a closer look I could see from its profile and small antlers that it was in fact a male roe deer. Roe deer are the smallest native species and only grow to a height of 75 centimetres at the shoulder and upto a weight of 25 kilos. Like the much larger red deer, it is only the males of this species that grow antlers although they do not get very big. Another characteristic of the roe deer is their tail-less white rump. They can be quite timid and a lot of my previous sightings have just been this white rump bouncing away across the fields. Although most of the grass and thistles had died down, the deer moved behind a thick patch of dead vegetation and demonstrated how well its brown coat works as camouflage. All deer are prey animals and as such they have sharp hearing, excellent eyesight and a super sense of smell. Despite the crackling of twigs as I walked, I managed to get within 50 meters of the deer and settled in under a bush. It isn’t unusual to see buck #roe #deer on their own, they are mainly solitary, but roe does can form small groups throughout the winter. They are pregnant for 9 months and unlike most other deer’s, Roes will often have twins or triplets.

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