A “wily old” stag has learnt how to steal bird nuts from gardens – using its antlers.
The mature red deer stag was filmed raiding a suburban garden on the edge of Exmoor, Somerset by biologist Dr Jochen Langbein.
Mr Langbein, who has followed the deer for two years, said: “It’s learned to very deliberately use the tip of his antlers to dislodge bird feeders in order to get at the contents.
“At the moment it’s only him, the others haven’t caught on yet.”
‘Nightly garden visitors’
The 12 to 15-year-old stag was caught on camera by Mr Langbein at the beginning of the year.
“He was a particularly wily old stag,” he said.
“I saw him raiding another bird feeder two years ago, but he was not quite as adept then.”
Standing at up to 140cm (4.5ft) tall and weighing around 200kg (440lbs), red deer are Britain’s largest land mammal.
But with poaching “on the rise'” on Exmoor, Mr Langbein said stag are returning night after night to their “favourite garden haunts” where they “feel safe”.
He added: “There are a number that travel from the middle of Exmoor down to people’s gardens.
“However, many people remain blissfully unaware of their nightly garden visitors.”