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Five Fun Facts about White-Tailed Deer

two white-tailed deer at Schiller Woods. Photo by Deep Shah.
Two white-tailed deer at Schiller Woods. Photo by Deep Shah.

In the Forest Preserves of Cook County, white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) are a common sight throughout our nearly 70,000 acres. Here are five fun facts about them:

  • White-tailed deer possess a refined palate, and enjoy a menu of leaves, twigs, fruits and acorns.
  • In winter, they grow a greyish coat, with white accents on the face, throat, belly and tail. This coloration serves as effective camouflage in their natural habitat.
  • Amongst deer, it’s the bucks (males) who flaunt their antlers. In early spring, their antlers are shed and regrow up to a quarter inch a day.
  • White-tailed deer are excellent swimmers and are not afraid to pass through waterfronts for food or new habitat.
  • White-tailed deer are the Olympians of the forest! Some can clear hurdles of up to 8 feet high and can soar horizontally for up to 30 feet in a single leap.

Interested in learning more about white-tailed deer? Visit one of our six nature centers to chat with a naturalist!