Field Cameras Catch Deer Eating Birds—Wait, Why Do Deer Eat Birds?

White-tailed deer.

These supposed herbivores placidly ate living nestlings right out of the nest. And if you’re thinking that it must be a mistake, that the deer were chewing their way through some vegetation and happened to get a mouthful of bird, think again. Up in Canada, a group of ornithologists were studying adult birds. In order to examine them closely, the researchers used “mist-nets.” These nets, usually draped between trees, are designed to trap birds or bats gently so they could be collected, studied, and released. When a herd of deer came by, they deer walked up to the struggling birds and ate them alive, right out of the nets.

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Image: Craig Lewis; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters

[Sources: Herbivores Busted Preying on Birds Nests, Scottish Deer are Culprits in Bird Killings.]
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