Friday, March 8, 2013

White-tailed Winters

White-tailed deer in northern Virginia are now just braving out the last few weeks of winter.  Loudoun County experienced snow storm just a few days ago.  Some parts of the county had a measly 3 inches, while the western stretches of the county saw around 10 inches of snow.

White-tailed deer don't seem to mind the snow and cold too much though.  Their winter coat is made up of hairs that are thicker than in summer.

These hairs are actually hollow.  Hollow hairs allow air to become trapped more easily within the deer's coat.  Once air becomes trapped, it quickly warms up due the great amount of body heat that the deer produces.

I've caught a lot of deer lately on my cameras at this location.  This camera is actually pointed at a fox den, but there is a deer trail adjacent to it.

Deer travel along this trail at least every 2 days and do basically the same thing every time in front of the camera.  They walk up with their noses pointed down, smelling the scents of other animals and for food.  When the camera makes a very quiet clicking noise, they bolt their necks up and move their heads and ears around to recognize any danger.

They then get curious to the camera, as cameras are not in their natural habitat.  They look at it with their bulging eyes for a few seconds and turn their heads one way or another.  Once they realize it is not dangerous to them, they put their heads down, sniff the ground, and walk away.

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