Belongs to: deer

Compare with: muntjac deer

Roe deer Capreolus capreolus


Best time to see: all year

Key facts

The smallest native European deer

Habitat: woods and forests with dense cover

Southern and northern England and Scotland, spreading into Midlands and Wales

Recognition

Reddish-brown in summer, grey-brown in winter; male has small branched antlers; up to 75 cm at the shoulder

Active evening and night, and by day where undisturbed; solitary or in small groups in woodland; sometimes feed in fields

Browses on trees (up to 1.1 m, often damaging them), brambles, herbs, grass, crops; hoofprints 5cm and droppings 1.5cm

Lifecycle

One litter per year of one or two young

No nest, but leave young hidden in undergrowth

  • Main photo

Photo © Robin Chittenden