do birds warn deer of danger

Active, careful listening to and deciphering of nature’s sounds should be applied to any animal or bird when we are deer hunting.

These wild creatures live around white-tailed deer and have something to tell us, if we are willing to quietly, intently listen.

As a deer hunter, you need to be an intense listener of sounds that point out the movement of larger mammals. The area around your deer stand or blind gets noisy when you arrive because the animals have heard you coming and sounded alarm calls. After you sit still and quietly for about 10 to 15 minutes, the area will come alive with the more comfortable, normal sounds of small animals and birds going about their daily routines.

Listen to the rhythm and volume of wildlife calls and take notice of any changes, however abrupt, rapid and expressive.

Squirrels: Fox squirrels offer first-rate natural alarm systems and warn of intruders entering their area. When deer hunting, if you spot a squirrel frolicking and feeding normally on the ground, but it instantly stops and hightails it for the closest tree while barking and chattering, something is up. Bark and chatter calls emitted by fox squirrels serve as an anxious awareness of danger to warn others of intruders or predators in their respective areas. If a squirrel hears a deer coming through an area, it most likely will sound a warning and hit the nearest tree. On the other hand, one of the best signs that deer are close by is that squirrel activity and vocalizations will quickly cease, and the squirrels will vanish with no warning or sound.

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do birds warn deer of danger

When deer hunting, we should actively listen to and carefully interpret the sounds of nature for any animal or bird.

These untamed animals have something to tell us if we are willing to listen to them quietly and carefully. They coexist with white-tailed deer.

Being a deer hunter requires you to have keen hearing for noises that indicate the movement of larger mammals. When you arrive, the animals around your deer stand or blind make noise because they have heard you approaching and have set off alarms. Once you remain motionless and silent for ten to fifteen minutes, the more cozy and typical sounds of small animals and birds going about their everyday lives will fill the space.

Keep an ear out for any changes in the rhythm and volume of wildlife calls, no matter how sudden, quick, or expressive they may be.

Squirrels: Fox squirrels provide excellent natural alarm systems and alert their surroundings to potential intruders. When deer hunting, if you see a squirrel running around and eating on the ground normally, but it abruptly stops and runs away, barking and chattering, toward the nearest tree, something is wrong. The anxious awareness of danger that fox squirrels emit through their bark and chatter calls alerts others to the presence of intruders or predators in their respective areas. A squirrel will probably make a warning noise and strike the closest tree if it spots a deer approaching. Conversely, one of the most reliable indicators of the presence of deer nearby is the abrupt cessation of squirrel activity and vocalizations, followed by their disappearance without any prior notice.

Additionally, pay attention to the direction that a flock is coming from when you see it take off and fly. Keep a watch on your surroundings in case an animal approaches from that direction. Deer will frighten them as well, though it might take some time and it might be a bobcat, coyote, or possum.

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Birds: Know your birds and the sounds they make. They are tattletales. Birds with vocal languages that are excellent indicators of deer movement include bluejays, cardinals, chickadees, nuthatches, sparrows, killdeer, Carolina wrens, crows, turkeys, ducks, and other birds. When white-tailed deer are around, birds become extremely excited and frequently express this anxiety. When they are pushed through wood or along the edge of cover, they make distinct calls. For example, among all birds to hunt in woodlands, bluejays are among the easiest to spot and most vocal. When white-tailed deer are moving, they reliably alert hunters to their presence. Their calling will intensify in intensity and emotion.

Visit the online Nebraska Bird Library at for specific details about Nebraska birds.

Deer: Whitetails can produce up to 400 distinct vocalizations, the majority of which are so faint and subtle that only trained auditors are able to distinguish them. Hunters should be familiar with certain groups of calls. These include snorts that signal alarm and bawls that indicate stress or trauma in deer. Generally, deer flee when they hear both these sounds. A mother’s grunt, bleat, mew, nursing grunt or whine, and a contact call used when deer get separated are examples of mother-fawn calls. Hunters can use this slightly pitched grunt to entice deer to approach them.

During the rut, bucks make three aggressive calls that hunters should be aware of: low grunt, grunt-snort, and grunt-snort-wheeze. There are also calls associated with mating, including the tending grunt, trailing grunt, flehmen sniff, and bellow. Hunters can use the tending grunt, which has a moderate volume and frequently lasts longer than a contact grunt, to attract bucks during the rut.

As deer hunters, all we need to do is listen to what the woods and the countryside have to say.

Greg Wagner works in the Communications Division of the Commission as a public information officer. Contact him at greg. wagner@nebraska. gov. Read his blog, In the Wild, at OutdoorNebraska. org.


What birds alert to deer?

I’ve learned to use our little feathered friends, such as chickadees, titmice and crows. These birds will alert you to the presence and approach of other large animals, including the white-tailed deer.

Do birds get quiet when deer are around?

It’s not uncommon for birds to be quiet around feeding deer, but then start to alarm when the deer begins sneaking away. Perhaps the deer is sneaking away from you as you are coming down the trail, so listen for these peripheral or secondary bird alarms.

How do you tell if a deer is near by?

In the woods, detecting the high-frequency sounds of deer movement can be critical. From hearing a doe and fawn quietly walking behind your stand, to detecting the sound of a buck trotting during the rut, knowing that deer is there or coming, can have the hunter prepared and better positioned for a shot.

Why do birds go on deer?

“They’re also known to eat ticks off other animals, providing a service to those animals while enjoying a snack.” So, deer and moose are basically a big hairy dinner plate for birds that have no shame.