Scientific name: Cervus elaphus
Standing proud and tall, the red deer is our largest deer. With its massive antlers, it is an unmistakeable icon of the Scottish Highlands, but can be seen in northwest and southern England, too.
Shoulder height: 1.37m
Average lifespan: 16-18 years
Common. Protected in the UK under the Deer Act 1991.
When to seeJanuary to December
AboutThe red deer is the UK's largest deer. Males have large, branching antlers, increasing in size as they get older. During the autumnal breeding season, known as the 'rut, males bellow to proclaim their territory and will fight over the females, sometimes injuring each other with their sharp antlers. A single calf is usually born the following spring.
Red deer live on moorland and mountainsides, as well as grasslands near to woodland. They can be seen in deer parks throughout the country. Red deer mainly eat grasses, sedges, rushes and dwarf shrubs like heather.