Unusual looking deer stops by for breakfast
An unusual looking deer stopped by a Wheelers Farms Road home Tuesday morning, and the homeowner sent in these photos.
The deer appears to be a doe, and she is mostly white with some brownish markings, the homeowner said.
According to one local authority, this is a piebald deer.
A piebald deer is a deer with a brown and white spotting pattern that is not caused by parasites or diseases, according to an online encyclopedia.
"They can appear to be almost entirely white. In addition to the non-standard coloration, other differences have been observed: bowing or Roman nose, overly arched spine, long tails, short legs, and underbites," the website states.
According to NYantler-outdoors.com, the piebald deer is rare, but not so rare as an albino deer.
“Contrary to popular belief, a piebald deer is not a cross between a normal whitetail deer and an albino,” the site states. “The origin of the word ‘piebald’ comes from ‘pie’ meaning ‘mixed up’, and ‘bald’ meaning ‘having a white spot’.”
Piebalds have various amounts of white and brown patches similar to a pinto pony. Some range from a very slight amount of white hair to almost an all white coat.
“Unlike the albino deer, which has pink eyes, a pink nose, and pinkish hooves, piebald deer have normal brown eyes and nose with black hooves like a normal whitetail,” according to NYantler-outdoors.com. “Their coloration is due to a rare inherited genetic variation (defect) that affects less than one percent of the white-tailed deer population.”
Milford Open Space Manager Steve Johnson said he hadn't heard talk of the piebald deer in the Milford woods, but he said he has heard about an albino deer seen near the Solomon property, which is in the same general vicinity as Wheelers Farms Road.
"But I haven’t seen it myself," Johnson said.