Columbia Blacktail Deer, Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin County, California

A blacktail deer stands in a field of lfowers.

Columbia Blacktail Deer, Point Reyes National Seashore

It’s really green at Point Reyes now and the early flowers are starting to bloom.  This photo was taken on January 26, 2010, just south of Abbott’s Lagoon.  I haven’t been there in about a week, but Ill bet it will look just like it did last year real soon if not right now.


About Jim Coda

I am a nature photographer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I specialize in photos of birds, mammals, and landscapes.
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6 Responses to Columbia Blacktail Deer, Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin County, California

  1. Pat Ulrich says:

    I love it when the fields come alive with flowers, and especially when the wildlife decide to pose in it.

    As for the deer ID, I believe it is only the columbianus subspecies of black-tailed/mule deer that are in the park. Here’s a link to the mammal species list from the NPS site for Point Reyes, which only lists the one —

  2. Katie says:

    Out of curiosity, how’d you ID this deer? I’ve had several local people tell me in person that the deer on my blog (Columbian black-tailed) are misidentified:

    • Jim Coda says:

      Katie, there are only two deer native to California. To the best of my knowledge, the other deer, the mule deer, doesn’t exist west of the Sierras. The fallow and axis deer, non-native deer that inhabited the Seashore for several decades, were mostly, if not completely, removed by the Park Service in recent years. Furthermore, they look very different from blacktail deer and mule deer.

      • Katie says:

        Thanks, Jim. Apologies for the inclusion of the fallow deer in my label; I definitely know they’re not native and a separate species. It’s splitting hairs, especially for someone like me who is not particularly familiar with deer, but the USGS lists 11 subspecies of Odocoileus hemionus, aka mule deer, aka black-tailed deer (according to CDFG):, with some subspecies gaining their own species name depending on who you ask, like the Columbian black-tailed. My initial comment was inquiring how you know this paricular subspecies out of 11 possibilities in CA. You have a very pretty photo, btw.

      • Jim Coda says:

        Hi Katie. Funny how my private e-mail to you and your second comment “crossed in the mail” so to speak. I was wrong in thinking that blacktail deer are a separate species from mule deer like the whitetail deer is. I am confident that the deer in my Point Reyes photo is a blacktail though. It is in the blacktail’s range according to Cal Fish and Game and it’s tail is mostly all-black (muley just has black tip) and it doesn’t have the white rump patch to the same extent a mule deer does as shown in the Cal Fish and Game link I emailed to you. <a href=";

        I’m also pretty sure the deer in your photos are also properly called blacktails. They’re in blacktail range; they have all-black tails; and they don’t have any white on their rumps.

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