Monday, February 7, 2011
Deer Country Extra: Browsing on Flowering Plum
The heavy snow last week split two substantial limbs on one of the flowering plum trees not far from our front door, leaving branches dangling to the ground. This afternoon a doe and a yearling decided to browse on the now-reachable limbs.
I watched the brunching deer for nearly a quarter hour as they tugged at the branches, often shaking them in their attempts to eat.
After the two moved on to easier eating, I went out to check on what they had been eating. It appeared they were nibbling at still-tight buds and the smallest, softest, though woody, limb tips from last summer’s growth.
Because the deer don’t have upper incisors, they don’t easily sever woody foods. The biggest twig they had severed was about a quarter-inch in diameter. Most were smaller.