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Photo Submission

Submitted By

Vicki Miller

Kelseyville, CA, United States


I was photographing this young buck which we call “Wrong Way” (because of his one antler pointing to the side rather than upwards) when these two brown-headed cowbirds landed on his back. Every year we see the scrub jays land on the deer and They appear to be picking off the ticks or fleas but this is the first time I’ve seen the cowbirds do this. We think it’s wonderful to see the birds helping out these larger animals which appear to appreciate this act of kindness.

Helping Out “Wrong Way”.

2 replies on “Helping out “Wrong Way”.”

Donna Barski says:

Very interesting! Thanks for the photo and information about your experience.
I hope you submitted your observation. Since both the bird and deer benefit, I would call this behavior, mutualism or symbiotic.

It is also interesting to see this young buck’s odd antler growth. I wonder if the antler was injured and will grow back in correct alignment next season or will it grow this way each year.

Hope you see him again next year!

I agree with Donna, It is very interesting. Lucky you to see that cool relationship between the birds and “Wrong Way.”

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