Carnivorous deer

1989/03/01 Elhuyar Zientzia Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria

Rabbits, cows and sheep who eat meat can only be from horror movies. However, according to studies conducted in Scotland, this fact is closer to what is believed of reality. The deer and sheep of the Hebrides and Zetland Islands have been seen eating the wings, necks and legs of bird offspring.
Gabaia with her head eaten by a deer.

When ruminants' diet has a lack of calcium, they sometimes solve the problem by chewing the bones. But biologist Robert Furness has seen that the sheep of the Scottish island of Foura (Zetland) and the deer of the island of Rume (Hebrides) have stepped one step further and attack the birds.

Both animals have a uniform way of attacking the offspring and aggression cannot be thought of as aberrant behavior. Behaviors seem common. The sheep eat the wings and legs of the arctic tern and sometimes leave their young alive. However, deer eat the head of the gabayas and rarely wings and feet.

Given that few cases of herbivores eating birds are known, aggression is considered to occur only when local vegetation has little calcium and there are birds nesting in the soil.