Our ever-present Eastern Cottontail Rabbit, Doonifer, has produced another bunch o’ bunnies (surprise!), & this is one of the three (there may be a fourth…) that appeared among the ferns & ragweed & what-have-you yesterday morning. A little later, this individual hopped its little way over to the favored myrtle bed, hung around for a while, then stood up to survey the situation. He was looking directly at one of the Red squirrels who was at the foot of a tree about four feet away… & Little Red was staring right back at the bun. I never know exactly what they see… you’d think squirrels would have terrific eyesight, but it is very selective. Hard to catch them unawares, but many of them can’t follow the trajectory of a tossed peanut & can spend many moments snuffling around until their noses track the quarry down. And sometimes they just give up & look at you, waiting for the Great Peanut Machine (me or Ray) to toss another. Sometimes they have trouble even if I bean them with the legume. But bunnies don’t do peanuts (they like Cheerios, though), so what THEY actually see is another matter. Having said all that… this little fuzzball DID see that Red squirrel, & had it been articulate in English, it would absolutely have asked me What That Thing Is? Note the rightward twitch of the nose… said nose moved up & down, back & forth, ceaselessly, but every other part was stock still.
Examples of Doonifer’s first crew (June 2013) can be seen in this photo. Note that only that profile is admissible in the world of rabbits, or so it would seem. They could be the same little doony but for the little white mark on the forehead of the June person. The earlier bunch was just a tad smaller when we first saw them, but the ones that showed up yesterday were only marginally larger. This monster is about 5 inches long. Sooooo cute, & that’s a fact.
Eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus)
Hamburg, NY 5 August 2013