Name: Fallow Deer
Scientific name: Dama dama
Nature Stars: 50
About: A large, elegant deer, standing almost 1 metre tall at the shoulder. Males have large, broad, 'palmate' antlers, increasing in size as the male gets older. Fallow Deer are variable in colour: most are a pale gingery-brown with white spots on the back, and with a characteristic black and white tail and a white rump patch outlined in black. Some animals are darker brown without any spots, and others are very pale, almost white. In the autumn breeding season, known as the rut, males make a loud belly-belch to proclaim their territory and will fight over the females. Fallow Deer prefer deciduous or mixed woodland with large clearings. They are also common in many deer parks throughout the country.
How to identify: A group of quite large deer with white spots, antlers shaped like the palm of a hand, seen in a sunny woodland glade will be Fallow Deer.
Where: Fairly widespread in England, Wales, Ireland and southern Scotland
Fantastic fact: Fallow Deer were introduced to this country from Europe about 900 years ago.
Photograph credit: Steve Waterhouse