Red Deer (Cervus elaphus)
Red Deer, Loch Glencoul, Highlands, Scotland, May 2005 - click for larger image Scotland

Red Deer are one of the most widely distributed species of deer being found in the temperate zones of Europe, Asia and North America as well as introduced populations in places such as New Zealand. There are 12 sub-species the one in Scotland being Cervus elaphus scoticus.

The Red Deer is one of only two species of deer native to the British Isles and, while the Red Deer is essentially a creature of woodland, the British population had to adapt to a moorland habitat as the old Caledonian forests disappeared. This poorer habitat has led to the British sub-species being smaller than others.

In summer the Red Deer are dark red or brown in colour while in winter they are dark brown or grey.

The annual rut lasts about six weeks around October. The stags break away from the stag herds to set up harems of hinds. Brutal fights break out between these master stags and intruders trying to take over the harem. After a gestation period of 8 months, calves are born mainly in early June.

There is some additional information on Wikipedia.

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