Red Deer

The red deer is the largest surviving wild mammal in Scotland. It makes an impressive sight even when seen at a distance, and an adult measures between 105-120 cm in height at the shoulder. Their weight is variable depending upon the food available and, in the Highlands, stags average between 90-140 kg and hinds 65-70 kg. However, most deer in Scotland are not reaching their full potential size because of a combination of living in high densities and surviving on a limited range of food plants in a degraded landscape outside their natural forest habitat.

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Red Deer Stag # 3659

The diet of red deer in Scotland today is comprised of grasses and dwarf shrubs, such as heather (Calluna vulgaris) and blaeberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) with heather being particularly important during times of winter snow. Red deer will also browse on trees, especially young ones, and their preferred native tree species are willows and rowan. Throughout the year the deer will forage in different areas. In summer they move upslope to high ground, to avoid midges and other biting flies, and in winter they frequent lower lying areas, where more food is available, and also to gain shelter from the cold. Feeding grounds also vary between the sexes
© Allan Bell

Red Deer Stag @ Islie Of Mull # 0863

The diet of red deer in Scotland today is comprised of grasses and dwarf shrubs, such as heather (Calluna vulgaris) and blaeberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) with heather being particularly important during times of winter snow. Red deer will also browse on trees, especially young ones, and their preferred native tree species are willows and rowan. Throughout the year the deer will forage in different areas. In summer they move upslope to high ground, to avoid midges and other biting flies, and in winter they frequent lower lying areas, where more food is available, and also to gain shelter from the cold. Feeding grounds also vary between the sexes
© Allan Bell

Red Deer @ Isle Of Mull # 3660

The red deer is the largest surviving wild mammal in Scotland. It makes an impressive sight even when seen at a distance, and an adult measures between 105-120 cm in height at the shoulder. Their weight is variable depending upon the food available and, in the Highlands, stags average between 90-140 kg and hinds 65-70 kg. However, most deer in Scotland are not reaching their full potential size because of a combination of living in high densities and surviving on a limited range of food plants in a degraded landscape outside their natural forest habitat.
© Allan Bell

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