White-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus virginianus
Cervidae or Deer Family

Largest native animal in Wildwood (until someone reports a bear), weighing about as much as the humans that wander through. Coat reddish-brown in spring, duller brown in winter. Throat, belly and underside of tail pure white; white hairs also in ears. Eyes and nose black. Ears large. Males have antlers in the breeding season.

Usually timid and does not like to get too close to people, so your most common view is like the one at the lower left. When alarmed it will lift its tail to warn other deer and then flee nimbly through obstacles.

Native to North America east of the Rockies, and south into central and northern South America. Occasional in the Park, at any time of year. Dawn and dusk are supposed to be the best times to see them, but the pics lower right and center were taken in mid-afternoon.

Unmistakeable as there are no other deer in Virginia, except for an occasional elk in the rural highlands.

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