Deer With Mysterious Object on Its Head Seen in Viral Trail Cam Pic

by Taylor Cunningham
Jordan Crosby / EyeEm/Getty

A deer has been causing some interesting chatter on social media after a trail cam captured it on film wearing a mysterious object on its head.

Because the footage was taken during the night, it was hard to make out the whole scene. The grainy picture almost looks like the deer is a unicorn hybrid—and quite a few people suggested that it was when Bangor Daily News posted pictures on social media.

A reader actually sent a photo to the publication looking for answers. And after studying it, the staff was just as curious about what could be on the deer’s head, which is why it posted the photos for public review.

Over the course of a few days, people gave some interesting answers. Many included the mythical creature theory and others thought the whole situation was just an optical illusion. However, a few sharp-eyed people could see something more than others. And after some more research, it appears that those people are right. There was a bird perched on the deer’s head.

The website gave a disclaimer that it can’t be entirely sure that’s what’s happening. But the staff is fairly certain, and they can’t find any other logical explanations.

A Bird Expert Believes the Trail Cam Caught a Small Owl Hitching a Ride on the Deer’s Head

Nathan Bieber, a deer biologist with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, weighed in on the discussion and shared that it would be unlikely for an owl to be hanging out with a deer in the middle of the night. But he’s seen crazier things. So, he can’t rule out the possibility.

“I’ve never heard of a bird perching on a deer’s head, and at nighttime, the number of candidate bird species would be low,” he said. “If ever you find something strange, though, you may be assured that stranger things have happened.”

The staff took the question to Bob Duchesne, a bird expert and outdoors contributor to Bangor Daily News. Without offering the possibility that a bird was resting on the animal’s head, they asked what he saw. He suggested that it was a northern saw-whet owl.

“If it’s anything more than a coincidence, I would suspect that it is watching to see if the deer frighten any mice into moving,” Duchesne added. “I’ve never heard of such a thing, but that doesn’t stop me from making wild guesses.”

It’s actually not uncommon for birds to take rides on larger animals, provided it’s during daytime hours. They often see a chance to feast on bugs that cover their backs or scoop up some leftover prey.

But as both experts shared, guessing that a small owl was perching on the deer’s head is a bit crazy. However, neither could come up with better theories. So, for now, the many curious minds who weighed in will have to accept the answer.