White-tailed Deer in Constance Bay: how many can there be?

My most notable observation-during-isolation so far is the number of White-tailed Deer that congregate at the community centre – on the soccer and baseball fields specifically – at dusk.

I live in Constance Bay, which is part of the City of Ottawa. Constance Bay is a peninsula on the Ottawa River. All the roads and houses are basically along the shoreline or close to it, and in the “middle” is the Torbolton Forest, which is managed by the City. There is one road that bisects the peninsula called Len Purcell Drive. There are some houses on corners where Len Purcell Drive intersects with other streets but that’s it; the only building on that street per se is our community centre, which is of course closed at this time because of COVID-19. So that means that there is very little car traffic on Len Purcell Drive at the moment, no activities at all inside the community centre – and no soccer or baseball games.

Because of confinement, I’ve been talking walks in the evening more regularly, and perhaps a bit later than I used to. On April 30, I saw 14 deer at the community centre (6 on the soccer field and 8 on the baseball field). And in the evening of May 4, between 8:00 p.m. and 8:20 p.m., I counted 11 on the soccer field, one just outside the fence and 5 on the baseball field. Then I saw 5 (or 6?) cross the road just outside the perimeter of the community centre. So 22 or 23 deer all in the same spot!

I would have never guessed there were so many – and there’s probably more! Plus I haven’t seen any fawns yet, so I imagine there will be new additions to the deer population in my neighbourhood very soon.

I suspect that since the grass is very green on the soccer and baseball fields, the deer like it very much; there’s not a lot of greenery in the forest yet. My cedar hedge was browsed dramatically this past winter, so perhaps there is less and less food in the forest to sustain such a population. There is certainly an increased danger of collisions with cars and ATVs on a road like Len Purcell Drive, since the deer have gotten used to this reduced traffic, and drivers will not expect to see so many. (The deer seem to cross in a single file and it’s not always easy for us to see how many will be crossing in total, especially at dusk or at night. Plus I’ve never seen more than three, maybe four, deer together in Constance Bay.)

There will certainly be a lot of deer poop on the playing fields!

See observation https://inaturalist.ca/observations/45094492

Publicado el 06 de mayo de 2020 a las 06:52 PM por cwf_annieb cwf_annieb


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Venado de Cola Blanca (Odocoileus virginianus)




Mayo 4, 2020 a las 08:09 PM EDT


22 or 23 White-tailed deer in total at or around the community centre at dusk! (11 on the soccer field, 5 on the baseball field, and 6 or 7 crossing the road to and from the centre).


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