Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Cotton-Headed Ninny Muggins

Cottontail rabbits are not the brightest bunch.
Case in point.

Yesterday, I heard my neighbor's dogs losing their minds.
Since they are in my care right now, I wandered over to see what was up.
I thought maybe a fawn was frozen with fear, just beyond the dog yard---it has happened before.

Nope, the dogs were pawing at something small, just on the other side of the dog yard.
Something small and fuzzy and something I immediately recognized as a baby cottontail.

 I put the dogs up in their crates and went to investigate.  
Teeny, tiny ears.

 Teeny, tiny "bun-buns".  
We got 4 inches of rain overnight on Monday and the temperature dropped into the upper 40s.  I am surprised the bunnies are alive at all.

Let's explore the question about being alive in more depth.
If you'll look at this picture, you'll see my 'jury-rigged'  solution to protecting the bunnies from further persecution from the dogs and impending rain.
It's the top of a cat crate.

What you'll notice is its proximity to the dog yard fence.  The nest is directly beneath the rock, under the crate.  
What on earth was momma bunny thinking?
More to the point, how on earth did she manage to:
1. Dig the nest?
2. Line it with fur?
3. Give birth?
4. Come back and nurse at least 2 babies (that I could see)?
5. ......for the last 2 weeks (fully furred, eyes open, ears erect)?
6. Do all this without alerting the dogs?

The biggest question of all is WHY? 
If you know, please share with me.  
Momma is obviously one sandwich short of a picnic.
I can only cross my fingers and toes that these babies don't make the mistake of heading into the dog yard to explore when they get older.


  1. Really makes you wonder what momma bunny was thinking. Maybe she suffers from PTSD from a previous dog encounter and can't think clearly anymore.

  2. Do you think the recent rain drove them out of a better home? And this was just an awful, but temporary relocation site? I can't imagine the dogs ignoring them for two weeks.

    1. Hi Erin, nice to meet you! I don't know how quickly a momma cottontail can prepare a new nest. The dog owners thought the same thing as you. It is on a very high spot, out of areas that get flowing or standing water when we get gully-washers like we did during this rain.

  3. Which they just might do. SHUDDER!!!