Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Trailblazer Tuesdays

🌿 Trailblazer Tuesdays 🌿

       In Southern Ontario there are so many deer that there are collisions between cars and deer almost daily.We get many deer here at the park! Just this week I saw two beautiful deer across the street from me. The reason is  the female  deer often leaves her fawn unattended for hours at a time while she searches for food. And in Southwestern Ontario, and across the province, the White Tailed Deer is the most common deer found.  This graceful white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus is well known to most North Americans and is easily recognized.  Hunters and non-hunters alike recognize the animal by its habit of flipping its tail over its back when it is startled, revealing the white underside and white buttocks.

      This "flag" of the white-tailed deer is often glimpsed as the high spirited animal dashes away from people. The tail has a broad base and is almost a foot long. When lowered, it is brown with a white fringe. Male Deer can grow to a height of 1 meter at the shoulder and can weigh around 110 kg when full grown and occasionally weigh up to 200 kg in the northern part of their range. In the summer time there is abundant food which makes almost any forested or bushy area suitable for deer. In the winter and the snow deepens, the deer concentrate in "deer yards," or areas that provide food and shelter from storms and deep snow.

      Human activities, such as the cutting and burning of blocks of forests, the seeding of agricultural crops, the winter feeding of cattle, the reduction of competitors such as mule deer, elk, moose, and the restriction on hunting of white-tails have helped this deer to extend its range northward and westward. In addition the long-term easing of the severity of winters may have been an important factor. Whatever the exact combination of causes, the range of the white-tailed deer extended considerably during the late 19th  and the first half of the 20th centuries. Now the deer is found throughout the majority of northern Ontario, but also through Manitoba, Saskatchewan and parts of Alberta and British Columbia. 

      If you are wanting to spot a White Tailed Deer the best times of the day to take a picture are the first two hours after day break, and the last two hours before sunset. Grab your camera, head down to John. E Pearce park, take a walk down Spicer Trail, or Mary Storey wetlands trail and see if you can take a picture of these beautiful deer. 

How can you be a trailblazer of conservation and help to foster an appreciation of nature in your community? 

Sabrina Merks 

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