Where do deer sleep?

NatureSpy’s Yorkshire Pine Marten Project camera traps have captured deer settling down for a kip for the second time in the project.

This rarely seen behaviour was first captured in Kennedy Wild Bird Food Forest – a roe buck prepared a sleeping area by scraping at the ground, before settling down for about an hour;

The camera traps have most recently been in a different area called Flo’s Forest, and by coincidence, one camera alone captured not just one sleeping deer, but two.

Firstly, the camera trap shows a roe buck preparing an area by scraping at the ground. Despite the fact the UK has lost its big predators, deer are still very cautious animals by nature and usually choose places to rest where they aren’t too visible or exposed.

The roe buck then lies down in the area it has prepared, before drifting off. Deer don’t sleep for long due to their cautious nature; instead sleeping for shorter periods and not entering a deep sleep. This roe buck stayed for about 45 minutes before moving off.

A week later, in exactly the same spot, a female fallow deer also decided it was a good spot for a rest. Without scraping at the ground (instead having a good sniff around), she settled for about 2-3 hours.

Without camera traps, it would be nearly impossible for us to witness this kind of behaviour in the wild, and with such a great view.

It’s a fantastic example of how camera traps can give an insight into a hidden world of animal behaviour; even if it was a coincidence that these deer chose to sleep right in front of our camera traps!

You can see much more of what our Yorkshire Pine Marten Project camera traps have captured, sign up to the newsletter and support the project on the project’s homepage

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One Comment

  1. I always wondered where deer sleep at night and now i know but if they only sleep an hour or so at a time because of predators then where do they sleep during the daytime when they are more vulnerable. Surely they must sleep more during the day somewhere and less at night or are they both active at night and day also i always thought they lived in herds like reindeer but it seems they are very solitary. Thanks for the beautiful videos

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