If Bald Eagles and White Pelicans are the special visitors that “guest star” during the winter at Quartz Mountain Nature Park, then Whitetail Deer are the stars that deadline month in month out. People love to drive through the park to deer watch or fawn peep. The first several weeks that fawn begin trailing their moms around, traffic often comes to a screeching halt, as people slam on their brakes to get a longer look.
During the winter the deer really become more watchable. There are less people in the park to disturb them and there are less leaves on the trees to conceal them. Colder temperatures also have them more concerned with finding another tasty acorn than whether or not folks are stopping their cars and taking pictures.
With many Blackjack, Live and Post Oaks throughout the park, there are a lot of acorns to choose from. Live Oaks produce a lot of acorns every year. Blackjack and Post Oaks produce heavy acorn crops every second or third year. Acorns are a preferred food of deer and are quite nutritious. While very high in carbohydrates and fats they are low in protein. Acorns are also easily digestible and deer eat A LOT of them, so the deer get the protein they need.
Deer are most likely to be feeding mornings and evenings-though if it is very cold they’ll be “fueling up” throughout the day. Early mornings and late afternoons also have low sun angles which can aid in getting awesome photographs. Some deer even “seem” to pose for photos.
Throughout the upcoming Holiday Season, why not plan a drive out to Quartz Mountain Nature Park to observe all the wonderful wildlife that call QMNP home? Don’t forget your camera!