A Piebald White-tailed Deer

Running an errand recently, I sighted a small herd of White-tailed deer that included a rare single piebald.  Piebald deer have a coloration pattern of white and brown, similar to a pinto pony.  Sometimes they appear almost entirely white.

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Piebaldness occurs due to genetic variations and not due to parasites or illness.

Contrary to popular belief, a piebald deer is not a cross between a normal White-tailed deer and an albino.  An albino deer has pink eyes, a pink nose, and pinkish hooves, whereas a piebald deer has normal brown eyes and nose with black hooves like the normal White-tailed.

 

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Though rare, piebald deer are more common than the white, albino, or the extremely rare melanistic (black) deer.  Scientists say that less than one percent of White-tailed deer in a herd carry the genetic defect, and fewer yet exhibit the piebald traits.

This is a new wildlife sighting for me, so you know I was thrilled and had to share!

 

31 thoughts on “A Piebald White-tailed Deer

    • Thanks Ashley! I had heard there was a piebald locally here at my daughter’s but never in my dreams would I have thought to spot it. 🙂 There is also an albino nearby also, so I’ve got my eyes peeled for him when I’m in that area!

  1. Fascinating! Thanks for sharing. I have seen an albino deer, but never a piebald. The albino was in the Prospect Bay community several years ago, and apparenlty was a ‘regular’ in the neighborhood.

  2. Very thrilling indeed! I’ve never ever seen one and I’ve lived in quite a few places where deer are frequent visitors.

    We spotted a hummingbird at our feeder that had strange white patterns on its side. I never did get a really decent shot of it. Seemed like it was more skittish than the others. Or perhaps it was just molting? Then again there are times when Bubba looks like he has white sides, but I suspect it’s his belly feathers being blown about by the wind.

    • Thanks Gunta! I just did a search for ‘piebald hummingbird’. Lo & behold, there is a piebald hummingbird, so maybe you did see one! Do a search too. Are those images of what you saw?? I bet so! 🙂

  3. I have never seen a piebald deer. Thank you for sharing this beautiful sighting, Donna. I think the deer with the ‘defect’ is beautiful!

  4. That’s so neat you got to see it! I saw an albino deer sometimes at Cape Henlopen State Park years ago whenever I went to the beach. Not sure if it’s still there but it was quite a sight!

    • Thanks! I would love to see an albino and have heard of one in the same area as this piebald deer. I’ve got my eyes scanning the fields each time I pass in the area. 🙂

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