Paying Attention Pays Off
I’ve written previously about the benefits of paying attention on this blog. I’m glad that I still practice what I preach. I believe it will help me prevent a bunny nest tragedy. Let me explain.
A little more than a week ago I noticed an Eastern Cottontail bunny in my back yard. She (as it turns out) was doing the usual munching away at whatever vegetation I have growing in my yard. She made her way around the yard. I didn’t pay her much mind. However, she then moved to a place in the far corner of my yard and seemed to plant herself. Because I’m not a rabbit, I had no idea what she found or why she stopped there. All I knew is she seemed unusually interested in that small patch of whatever.
What really got my attention was when she started making odd movements. She looked like a child trying to bury something with her paws. She would take a little bit of grass from here and a little more from there. It all seemed to be converging in front of her. I had never seen a rabbit do anything but eating and preening. This got my attention.
After a few minutes, she just hopped away and under the fence nearby. It really didn’t hit me then. I thought I’d just seen a bunny doing something I hadn’t before.
Later that day, while feeding the birdies I decided to walk over where I’d seen her. I looked over the ground and nothing really caught my attention. Until I saw an odd bare patch. Then I had to investigate.
Here’s what I saw:
Doesn’t really scream anything to you, does it?
That is until you look closer and see there’s actually a small hole that looks like it’s been filled in. Click on the image above and you’ll see what I mean. So that’s what all that mime-like activity was about-LOL!
The next thing I did was very carefully pulled back a little of the brush. What I saw was some very small babies wiggling around. I quickly replaced the vegetation and let it be.
I realized very quickly I had some learning to do if I wanted to prevent a bunny nest tragedy in my own yard. What follows are some easy to learn and implement tips to help you keep your bunnies and their babies safe.
Bunny Nest Tragedy Prevention Tips
- Before you start mowing your yard each year make sure to walk the lawn looking for any potential bunny nest locations. Look for browned out areas or small holes.
- If you find a nest in your yard DON’T PANIC! If you can look into it safely, see if there are babies in it now. Don’t be afraid to go deep into the hole.
- If babies are present, again, DON’T PANIC! As long as the babies look healthy all is well. If you see any that look injured, contact your nearest wildlife rehabilitator.
- Do NOT assume because you don’t see the mother that they bunnies are orphaned. Mother rabbits only come by once or twice a day (likely dusk and dawn) to feed and groom them. This is to not attract attention to her nest.
- Don’t call a wildlife removal service unless absolutely necessary. The wildlife rehabber should be able to walk you through any issues you might have.
- Mark the area in at least a 6 foot circle and do not mow any closer or over it.
- If you don’t already, start making a habit of just watching the nest around dusk and dawn. You should be able to get a glimpse of momma coming to nurse and tidy her babies up. Please, no flash photography!
- In two to three weeks, they should be gone from the nest and you can then start mowing it again.
Finding a Bunny Nest Video
I found this great video that’s less than a minute and a quarter from a wildlife removal company that really seems to care. It’s a quick rundown of what to look for and what to do.
Putting It All Together
I know the toughest part of preventing a bunny nest tragedy is patience. A lot of homeowners prize their lawns and couldn’t imagine living with an overgrown patch in them for any length of time. If you are one of these people, I would first say chill out! It’s only for two or three weeks at most.
The next thing I would say is all life on this planet has value. You will give these bunny babies the best chance at life if you can just let them be. Let nature run its course.
Have you found a bunny nest in your yard? What have you learned from it? Leave me a comment below so we can all benefit from your experience. Also, if you’ve enjoyed this article, please share using the buttons below on social media.
Helpful resource from wildlifecenter.org which includes a downloadable infographic called ” I Found a Baby Rabbit.”