Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Feeding Whitetails

Whitetail feeding on Multiflora Rose
Whitetails are opportunistic feeders and will utilize any food source that they find to their liking.  Browse is the single most important component of their diet during the winter months and the deer in my area have found multiflora rose to their liking.  Multiflora rose, now considered an invasive species was first established here by soil and wildlife conservation agencies.  Multiflora roses bloom with a profusion of small flowers and produce huge numbers of 6-8mm diameter rose hips which many species of wildlife utilize.  During the winter months the deer are undaunted by the sharp thorns as they give the bushes a good trimming.

Whitetails feeding on Ferns
Frankly, as much as I observe deer, I was surprised to observe a herd of deer digging for fern fronds.  There was to doubt that they were intentionally targeting the ferns and after returning home and googling the food value of ferns I could easily see why.  Ferns contain significant amounts of minerals and vitamins; apparently a good source of winter nutrition when included along with higher calorie foods in the daily diet.   

Fawn eating a Fern Frond


Peg said...

Your mention of fern fronds made me think of fiddleheads and spring. Yum. And yes, very healthy. A spring tonic.

Montanagirl said...

Hi Coy - I'm back in the land of the living and feeling much better. Trying to catch up on a few blogs. Your deer photos are great - I especially like the fawn eating the fern!

Lindsjö taxar said...

Hi Coy!!
LOvely pictures....we feed our roes. Now we dont have so cold so they are doing fine.