A tremendous crashing in the wetland thickets to our left brought forth this buck. He leaped into the meadow trailing phragmites from his rack. Note that the animal is tagged [#326?]; looks like this means he was given a vasectomy in an effort to cut Staten Island’s White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) population.This was at Mount Loretto State Unique Area on the weekend. Yesterday, we ran into a few more there, including this one right out in the open on the other side of the pond. Another was bedded down in the meadow not ten feet from the path. He let us walk by, but when we returned, and our eyes met, he skedaddled. And another.
Then we saw four in Clay Pit Ponds State Preserve. This one, one of a cluster of three in the cattails, looked just past fawn-hood.

Speaking of big critters, we also saw a couple of Wild Turkeys and a male Ring-necked Pheasant, and heard some Indian Peafowl, while on island.

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