Piebald deer hanging out in North Shore residents backyard

Sherry Martell
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

TATAMAGOUCHE - Phyllis Rice glances out her living room window dozens of times each day keeping a watchful eye out for her "little darling."
She said it was about a month ago when she first noticed the mostly white-coloured white-tail doe quietly sneaking into her back yard to munch on bright red apples still clinging to the tree.
"It's just beautiful," said Rice. "She's so pretty to just sit here and look out at."
The small doe, Rice estimates to be a yearling, is almost entirely white except for a tuft of brown fur on top of its head and two small patches of brown on its right side.
Jim MacNaughton, with the Department of Natural Resources office in Bible Hill, said the deer is not albino because it has some brown colour but is known as piebald.
"There's a number of them around here," he said. "I've seen a few myself."
"I wouldn't call it rare to see one because it's not real unusual, but it also isn't that common."
While true albino whitetail deer are very rare, about one in 3,000 in Nova Scotia, there are other colour variations, which show up in animal populations like the piebald deer near Rice's home.
The pigmentation of melanistic deer may be very darkly coloured, even black.
Finding a true black deer is more rare than finding an albino one.
Discoloured deer are unable to camouflage themselves from the eyes of predators, putting their survival at risk.
Normal whitetail deer have a brown coat in the fall with white hair around their eyes, mouth and throat as well as the underside of their tails that wave like white flags as they bound across fields.
Rice said there is a long-standing tale that claims any hunter who shoots a white deer is destined to have seven years of bad luck and is hoping hunters won't take aim at the one frequently visiting her home.

smartell@trurodaily.com

Organizations: Department of Natural Resources

Geographic location: North Shore, Bible Hill, Nova Scotia

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments