Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Backyard Bunnies

We have quite a few wild cottontail bunnies in our backyard. I enjoy watching them, but they're pretty shy and usually only come out into the open under the cover of darkness. Here are a couple pictures I took one night from the kitchen window.

This is a pretty large ground-feeding tray (it's also the same one that the deer eat from). Unfortunately, only 1 bunny is allowed in the tray at a time and things can get a little "hare-y" for the bunny who thinks it's time for his turn in the tray. These bunnies can be kind of feisty and it's especially fun to see one of the bunnies challenge the other one and then one of them will jump straight up into the air--about 2 feet. Have you ever seen them do that?

I've seen as many as 6 bunnies at a time in the area around this ground feeding tray.

I know there are lots of bunnies in my yard because I see their trails all over the place. Here's one you can't mistake for anybody else's trail.....all those little black spots aren't sunflower seeds!The trail leads from the ground-feeding tray to the large red pine that all of my backyard wildlife seems to prefer living in and under.

The bunnies also like running around and living under my white pine windbreak....as evidenced by the abundance of tracks shown in the photo below.

Here are a couple more well-used bunny trails running from the white pine windbreak to the dense red osier dogwood patch in the middle of the yard.

But here's the place my backyard bunnies love most of all.....the storage shed. I wish I knew how many bunnies live under here. They have an entrance/exit on the back side.....

And also an entrance/exit on the front side.
Daisy just loves sticking her nose in these holes and sniffing for the bunnies.

I know these bunnies are naughty and chew on lots of things they aren't supposed to, but I have a hard time getting rid of them, especially when I know next spring I may be able to get another chance to see this......


Anonymous said...

What happens in the spring when you want to grow a garden with all those bunnies around? You've got some great pics of all their trails and hiding places and even eating at nite at the feeding tray. You must have walked all around the house at least once to gather all this info. We have a couple of bunnies, but we only see them at nite too. Mostly it's about the opposums, they come up on the deck to eat even in the daytime they prefer the cat food to the seeds on the ground.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mom,
I have a good bunny-proof fence to go around the garden and last year I had to sprinkle moth balls in the perennial garden to keep them from eating the asters, other than that, they mostly behave themselves.
I saw my possum on Sunday afternoon--it's very large and no ears (I guess they've been frozen off). It was eating birdseed and corn.

mon@rch said...

would love to have bunnies in my back yard! When I was a kid, a neighbor lost his pet bunny and it lived under our shed for a long while!

Mary said...


I see the bunnies during the night, too, when I light up the back yard to let the dogs out.

Back in MD, we had them living under our shed, too. I was very busy under those floorboards!

That baby is so cute! So you are a bunny handler, too?

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Yes, I have seen rabbits jump straight up in the air. It is a hoot when they begin cavorting.

A friend of mine tried to "save" a couple of tiny bunnies one spring. Geez.

They don't have a chance if they stay in our fenced area. Luna hates them and won't share her space. I'm glad because they eat so many of my plants, especially when they are young.

It is difficult to stay mad at them because they are so cute.

Ruth said...

We have so many bunnies in our neighbourhood and they are quite destructive to shrubs in the winter. But they are so cute. Their only predator here is cars.

Dave said...

Your shed is a bunny condo. The owl who lives in my backyard would love that.

Jennifer said...

Oh dear... I would feel very sorry for your bunnies indeed if my Lolli lived around you... She is the diggingest dog...

Jayne said...

Awwww.... love the cute bunnnies!

Meggie said...

Lots of bunnies in my yard, too, Ruth. I see mine at all times of the day and night. Such a sweet baby bunny!

Trixie said...

Ohhh...Vivi wants soooo badly to hold that baby bunny!

I am glad you can co-exist. Good Daisy.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mon@rch,
Those bunnies seem to instinctively know where there's good places to hide.

Hi Mary,
The 'bunny-holding hands' belong to my spousal unit. That poor little bunny was afraid to move! We put it back in the perennial garden after the photo and the next day all of the bunnies were gone.

Hi Lisa,
My dogs have given up trying to chase bunnies--they're just too fast and there's so much wide open space for them to run in my backyard. Has Luna ever caught one?

Hi Ruth,
I have noticed some chewing on my Nanking Cherry shrubs....we'll see how they come back in the spring. My neighbors with guns are probably their greatest predator around here....I'm glad I've got plenty of places for them to hide in my yard.

Hi Dave,
There are great-horned owls in the neighborhood, but they apparently haven't discovered the bunny buffet at my place yet....maybe this spring when hungry owlets need to be fed.

Hi Jennifer,
Sometimes in the spring Daisy discovers and digs up the bunny nests under my evergreen trees. I have to watch her pretty close for a couple months because she *loves* baby bunnies.

Hi Jayne,
I love those babies too-their fur is soft as velvet.

Hi Meggie,
Mine probably come out during the day when I'm at work. Some of the bunnies I see at night are pretty big too.

Hi Trixie,
Do you have cottontails in Alaska? Or just the snowshoe hares?
We co-exist pretty well--as long as I keep an eye on Daisy when the baby bunnies are around.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

No, Luna hasn't caught one yet. But, I hate to tell you this, she has eaten some new born rabbits. She found a nest a stupid rabbit built right in the middle of our fenced in area. I didn't know what she was gnawing on until I saw the last one get slurpped up. She kept going to the nest and putting her nose into it just in case there was another yummy morsel in there. I can't hardly stand it when she acts like a dog!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Lisa,
Don't feel bad, my Daisy has done this too. (she also has an uncanny knack for finding mouse nests too!)
And it's not like I never feed my dogs!!! Just their crazy, wild instinct, I guess.