I was blaming Mr. Squirrel for this thievery.
And it was baby bunny!
Lucky for you that you’re a cute little bunny.
More Wordless Wednesday.
About a month ago I stumbled over a nest of bunnies in my front lawn. Cute little baby bunnies. When I moved aside some of the grass and twigs they looked up inquisitively at me and after a few seconds burrowed back down into the hole. From the expression on the first one’s face he was probably thinking, “You’re not my mommy!”. So I covered them up and left them alone.
Cottontail rabbits are absentee parents. The mom stops by twice a day, dusk and dawn, to nurse the babies in the nest for about 2½ to 3 weeks. The babies spend another week in the vicinity of the nest gathering there at dusk for the mother to come back and feed them. Within a few days they are weaned and are on their own. I watched the mom return most evenings from my front window (and with my binoculars; hope the neighbors weren’t concerned!). The father rabbit doesn’t do anything to help raise the young.
If you see a tiny bunny about the size of a softball it is not lost or abandoned, it is probably independent and will be just fine. If the babies are not yet weaned, the mother is still watching over them. Often you won’t even see the mother. They are sneaky and wait until no one is looking before they go back to the nest area. If the bunnies have fur and are hopping around they don’t need any help from humans.
And so the bunnies and I coexisted for about a week. Saturday they found my broccoli plants and my flowers and my illusions about living happily ever after with five baby bunnies came to an end. Yesterday the fencing went up around my gardens.
For the past few weeks there has been a bunny in my yard all evening. Rabbits are primarily active at dusk and dawn. In the summer I would occasionally see them during the day, usually eating something in my garden, but never after dark.
This picture was taken about 9pm. I just looked outside and he is still roaming around out there at 11:30pm eating seed under the bird feeders. I hope he stays out of the path of the owls.
According to rabbit.org,
Rabbits are actually “crepuscular”, meaning they are most active in the twilight hours of both sunrise and sunset. This is because before becoming domesticated, rabbits evolved as a prey species for thousands of years. Evolutionarily it was safest for rabbits to leave the safety of their burrow and forrage for food in the transition between day and night when the light is dim. This is the time when nocturnal (night) predators such as owls can’t see well because of too much light, and when diurnal (day) predators such as foxes, can’t see well because it is too dark.