Sitting Deer

red deer stag sitting down

Because it is sitting down, we get a chance to look at the hooves on this Red deer stag. Deer hooves are basically two long toes. And behind them are two tiny dew claws. Apparently, if the deer is walking in mud, you might see the marks of the dew claws behind the main toes.

Tamara and I saw deer tracks in Richmond Park, but I only learned about the dew claws after we came home, so wasn’t looking for the little pin-prick marks. Next time, though…

I also read that the keratin that the hooves are made of, runs in different directions throughout the hoof, which makes it stronger than if the sheets of keratin all lay in the same direction like in our finger nails.

One thing that I noticed when we were looking at the deer, is how deep and broad the Red Deer’s neck area is compared to some other deer. And how dainty his legs and feet seem in comparison to the bulk of his body.

Seeing the legs tucked up like that reminds me of the dog I had years ago.

The feet and toes of red deer stag sitting down

Jackdaws Sitting On A Fallow Deer

jackdaws sitting on a Fallow deer

Picture the Fallow deer, its nose deep in the grass as it snuffles around for something to eat. One thing it doesn’t have is an easy way to pick its own nose clean of whatever might find a home there.

I guess this line of thought can be extrapolated to all kinds of browsing and grazing animals.

What a lot we humans have to be thankful for.

So the Fallow deer has this symbiotic relationship with a jackdaw that picks off insects and whatnots, even into the deer’s nostril.

Click the image and then again to see a bigger version.

Fallow Deer In Richmond Park

Young male Fallow deer

Male fallow deer are called bucks, females are called does and the young ones are called fawns. Does do not have antlers, and this little guy has budding antlers, so that makes him a fawn or a young buck.

Adult males have palmate antlers, which means that they are flat plates rather than the tube-like horns of Red deer. This second photo makes it pretty clear what palmate means.

And look at the jackdaws perched on the buck. They must be picking ticks and other insects off the deer for it to be so calm and obliging about the free ride the birds are getting.


Fallow deer with antlers and jackdaws on its back

The Trees and Deer Of Richmond Park

Ancient trees in Richmond Park
Red deer in Richmond Park
Close up of Red deer in Richmond Park

Richmond Park is a Royal Park on the outskirts of London, adjacent to the town of Richmond upon Thames. It is almost 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres) of open grassland and woods.

Some areas of the park are cordoned off to allow wildlife to live without disturbance and it was in one of those areas that I saw the tangle of upper branches in the first photo here.

Some of the trees all around the park are huge. And that is testament to the long undisturbed history of the park. If only more of Britain’s nature was as well protected.

The herds of Red deer and Fallow deer roam free in the park. This is a Red deer stag in fine ‘antlerdom’. Tamara wonders how they sleep with that headgear.

I’ll follow up in more posts with Red and Fallow deer.