Thursday, June 02, 2005

Runaway Bunnies

We've been monitoring the bunnies in the backyard the last few days. I am guessing that they were very newly born when we found them last week. They appear to be growing up fast!

On May 28 it looks like their eyes are still closed:
Baby Rabbits

Two days later, still closed. I like the way they line up facing opposite directions in this one:
Baby Rabbits Lined Up in Nest

Finally, yesterday evening we saw that their eyes had opened:
Their Eyes Have Opened!

Which leads me to the title of this post...never mind the runaway bride, we have runaway bunnies! When we checked on them yesterday evening, I noticed that one seemed to be a bit more active than the others. He's the one on the far right side of the picture:
About to Escape the Nest

Time to Make a Break for It!

After a few seconds of hopping, he succeeded in jumping right after the nest and took off across the lawn! We tried to herd the bunny back to the nest, but that didn't work. Laura scooped him up and put him back the nest. He didn't like that much and tried to escape again. Covering the nest back up with the fur and grass, then gently holding it down for a second seemed to settle everyone down.

Baby Bunny in Laura's Hand

Before all the excitement, I did manage to get a pretty close look and I'm fairly convinced that there are six bunnies in the nest. I originally though there were only four, but I got a pretty good look at them this time. At one point, I could clearly see four on top, and two more buried below the others.

The saga continued today. At one point, Laura noticed what appeared to be a hole in the nest covering, suggesting that one of the bunnies was out and about. We are being very cautious about the dogs now -- I really don't want to have to pry a baby bunny out of Cricket's mouth!

This evening I decided to go check on them. I opened the back door without looking first and was startled to see the nest already exposed...and the mother bunny there with the babies! She took off immediately. I dashed for the camera and managed to get one shot, which did not turn out very good because the flash reflected against the screen door:
Mama Rabbit!

We watched for her to come back, but she didn't. I hope she got a chance to feed the babies at some point today. I normally peer out the door to check before opening.

Anyway, here is the final picture, about an hour or so after the mother bunny took off. Everyone seems pretty calm.
After Mama Rabbit Ran Off

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