Piebald Deer
Photos by Bruce Dayton

White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) Picture

ORDER: Artiodactyla (Even-toed Ungulates)
FAMILY: Cervidae (Deer)
SPECIES: White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

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Piebald White-tailed Deer
(Odocoileus virginianus)

The White-tailed deer, also known simply as the whitetail, is a medium-sized deer found throughout most of the North America.
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They feed on leaves, twigs, shoots, acorns, berries 
and graze on grasses and herbs.
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The species is most common east of the American, and is absent from much of the western United States (area of the Mule Deer).
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The buck (male) is normally up to 
20 percent larger than the doe (female).
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A recessive gene produces the piebald condition in white-tailed deer, Piebald Deer are colored white and brown, sometimes they appear almost entirely white.
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This genetic condition is rare with typically 
less than one  in a thousand white-tailed deer being affected.
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SIZE

An average adult White-tailed buck weighs between 100 and 150 pounds live weight and stands 32 to 34 inches at the shoulder. Size and weight vary greatly in the White-tailed Deer depending on the the region where it is found. Some whitetail deer from the northern United States and Canada may weigh as much as 350 pounds.
DESCRIPTION

The white-tail was so named because the underside of its tail is covered with white hair and is displayed (Flag) when the deer is running. The belly, throat, areas around the eyes and insides of the ears are white all year long. Hair color is alike in both sexes. The summer coat consists of short, thin hairs that are reddish-brown in color and the the heavy winter coat is longer, grayish brown hairs over a short wooly undercoat.
Sexual Dimorphism: Male are about 20% larger than the female. Males grow and shed a set of antlers each year.

BEHAVIOR White-tail deer are generally considered solitary animals. They are the most nervous and shy of the deer family. The most common sounds heard are whistles or snorts of disturbed White-tails. They are extremely agile and are great runners (up to 30 MPH), swimmers and jumpers. White-tails generally live in a range of only about one square mile, although linear ranges can be much longer. Buck deer do not associate with the females except during the breeding season (the rut), when they actively seek out does for breeding. White-tails communicate with vocalizations and scents. They have an unusual social grouping.
RANGE Scientists have identified 30 subspecies of whitetails in Central and North America. Whitetails occur from southern Canada south through the lower 48 States and Mexico to Panama.
PREDATORS The main predator of adult deer is man. Many are taken as game during hunting season, while thousands more are killed by motor vehicles each year. There are no hunting restrictions on hunting Piebald Deer. Sometimes roving wild dog packs (even domesticated dogs in packs) will kill deer. More natural predators are the coyote, bobcat and cougar.
HABITAT White-tailed deer can adapt and survive in a wide variety of terrestrial habitats from the big woods of the northeast to the swamps of Florida. Most woodland deer prefer a habitat of mixed woods, open areas and dense brush thickets to provide food and help conceal them from predators. 
DIET The White-tails are  herbivores. Some foods white-tails may like to eat includes young leaves and stems, grass, berries, bark and nuts. In agriculture areas, they will eat crops such as corn and alfalfa.

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White-tailed Deer - Piebald Phase
Galen Township
Wayne County, New York
CLICK - White-tailed Deer - Piebald Phase Picture CLICK - White-tailed Deer - Piebald Phase Picture
WtDrP-304_029475 WtDrP-304_029497
CLICK - White-tailed Deer - Piebald Phase Picture CLICK - White-tailed Deer - Piebald Phase Picture
WtDrP-304_029452 WtDrP-304_029467
White-tailed Deer
Piebald, Albino and Melanistic Facts
Piebald
A recessive gene produces the piebald condition in white-tailed deer, not parasites or diseases. Piebald Deer are colored brown and white,  similar to a pinto pony. Sometimes they appear almost entirely white. This genetic condition is rare with typically less than one  in a thousand white-tailed deer being affected. Piebald deer are still much more common than the Albino Deer.
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Sometimes written Piebald, Pie-Bald Or Pie Bald

Albino
Albino deer are deer that lack pigmentation and have a completely white hide and pink eyes, nose and hooves.  Albinism is much rarer and may only be observed in one in 30,000 deer.

Melanistic
There is also a very rare melanistic condition that causes a deer’s coloration to be extremely dark and sometimes black. This condition is much rarer than albinism. Melanism is an increased amount of black or nearly black pigmentation (as of skin, feathers, or hair) of an organism, resulting from the presence of melanin. It is the opposite of albinism, which occurs due to lack of melanin.

 

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The images on this web page are copyrighted © 2003 - 2007 by Bruce Dayton. I want to share my photos to promote conservation and to help people identify and learn about the birds and other creatures that live with us on the North American continent. Please do not use any of my work in any non-profit or for-profit project without first getting written permission from me. You can ask for permission by emailing me at webmaster@wildlifeofnorthamerica.info. All reproductions must bear an appropriate credit.

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White-tailed Deer-Piebald anomaly (Odocoileus virginianus)
Updated 10-23-2008