Wildlife in Tuscany: The majestic deer
Tuscany is home to both the small roe and larger fallow deer. The shy roe deer herds tend to remain in forests, although cultivated crops can tempt them out to feed, whereas fallow deer herds can be spotted on arable land. Dusk is the best time to see and photograph deer.
There are two main types of deer that can be spotted in Tuscany - the Roe Deer and the Fallow Deer. Both are majestic creautures. It is well worth taking some time away from the busier tourist areas for a trek into the natural areas of Tuscany as spotting a family of deer roaming the Tuscan countryside is a truly amazing experience. Apart from these beautiful animals, a walk in the forests and parks of Tuscany also offers the chance to see some breathtaking natural landscapes.
The Roe Deer is known as the 'Capriolo' in Italian, and it is the smaller of the two species. It weighs around 35kg, and it can be identified by its small tail of only 2-3cm in length. As the seasons change in Tuscany, its coat goes from a red-brown mixture to a warming thick grey colour in the winter months. Its antlers are shed in November before growing again in May to their full length, and watching them jump, swim and run is an incredible sight to see.
The Fallow Deer's Italian name is 'Daino', and it is far larger, with a weight of around 85kg. Its long neck and slim head give it an imposing presence, and it has a unique set of antlers. Take a close look and it is obvious that they have tiny spades on the end to help lift objects from the ground. They also have a beautiful variety of coat colours that create an interesting activity for deer spotters.
Although both types of deer prefer to venture out at dusk, daylight hours provide a great opportunity for spotting females. Their instinct is to protect their young at night, which means that they can be spotted during the daytime. The best place to spot these animals is any location that is rich in blueberries and mushrooms - ideal grazing conditions for the deer.