Photo by Angela Kirk
Doc has been yakking all week about the nest of baby bunnies we found in our yard, but let me tell you my side of the story.
Last Thursday night Doc was mowing the lawn in the back yard. I was lounging on the porch watching her work when I noticed some movement in the mulch under the Maple tree. Every time I approached the tree, the mulch shifted. I admit – it freaked me out at first. So, I jumped back unsure of what evil might be emerging from the bowels of the earth. Suddenly, I saw a little furry head with two pointed ears pop up out of the ground. By that time, Doc was coming closer to the spot with the mower and I became frantic trying to warn her. After a few times of approaching her and running back to the baby rabbits, she finally stopped the mower to see what I was so upset about. When she spotted the baby bunnies the color drained from her face frightened she may have hurt one. Slowly she got down on her hands and knees and gently removed the mulch, grass and bunny fur covering the hole. Looking inside she counted 6 little bunnies all huddled together. After checking them out, she let out a sigh when she saw that they were not hurt. After she stood up, she scanned the yard and said in a loud accusatory voice ” Where is your mother?” Thinking they might be abandoned she put away the mower, got on the internet and did what Doc always does, she researched the problem.
What she found out is that the mother rabbit only comes at dawn and dusk to feed the babies so that she does not attract potential prey to the nest. Doc also read that the babies will leave the nest after about 10 days. After pondering all that information, Doc knew what to do. She decided right then and there that we would co-parent the bunnies until they left the nest.
That evening we sat quietly looking out the window of the back door waiting for mama bunny to show up. And sure enough she came under the fence, squatted over the nest and all 6 little furry heads popped up to be nursed.
The next day the bunnies began exploring the world around them so every night Doc and I counted the bunnies right before dark to make sure they were tucked into bed safe and sound. I wouldn’t say we turned into bunny stalkers but we came very close.
This week when we got home from work, we went out to check on our bunnies and to our dismay, the nest was empty. Both Doc and I worried about those bunnies for the rest of the day. Then at about 9pm we got our answer. Doc happened to look outside, saw the mother come under our fence and all six little bunnies hopped in behind her from all different directions to be fed.
You can always count on nature to know just what to do. Mama bunny didn’t really need our help, but is was fun being a part of it all.