baby bunnies update

Just yesterday morning, I posted (over at The Marketing Mama) about the six baby bunnies living under the side of our house. I have been obsessed with worry over them, since I have never seen their mother in the nest with them, but as I visited them each day, I could see them growing quickly, and clearly thriving.  I felt as proud of them as their own furry mama must have been.

Yesterday afternoon, while waiting for the boys’ camp bus to drop them off, I thought I’d check on Joe, John, Jenna, Rory, Twigs, and Super Carrot Guy. I went around to the side of the house. I peeked behind the bushes.

They weren’t there.

The bunnies are GONE, completely gone, as is their nest. There’s not a bit of straw or fluff left. There is no sign that they were ever there at all.

I am trying not to panic about this. If the raccoon that (I think) is getting into our garbage got to them, I don’t think he’d be so utterly neat about it. Although he did leave a half-eaten bagel on top of a little paper plate on top of our garbage can. Whatever’s foraging in our trash knows how to do a proper place setting.

On the other hand, did the mother bunny really come take her six kids, one at a time, and move them somewhere else? Did they hop away? And who cleaned up the nest? Do bunnies, like Boy Scouts, have “No Trace Awareness,” and leave their campsites cleaner than they found them? Heck, they haven’t even left any rabbit footprints behind. 

But then I go the other way.  “If a cweature ate dem,” as Seamus delicately put it, “dere would be some bones.”

I’m afraid to know the truth, but seriously, I was up last night wondering. Any baby bunny experts out there? 

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous July 22, 2010 at 4:53 pm

Our pet bunnies had babies once, so this is what I know: First of all, did you know that all that fur in the nest came from the mama bunny's belly? She would have pulled it out and made a nest right before the babies were born. And she stays away from the nest except to feed them to avoid drawing the attention of predators. I think she may have moved the babies because you were looking at them. Or they may have gotten big enough to hop off on their own. I'm with Seamus — if a cweature had gottent them, you would see signs. P.S. Aren't baby bunnies literally THE cutest things you ever saw?

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Mollie July 22, 2010 at 7:31 pm

"Baby rabbits stay in the nest for about 4 weeks. They leave the nest when they are about 4" or 5" long and the white diamond shaped patch of fur on their forehead is almost gone. They will also have fluffy fur, their eyes will be open and their ears will stand up away from their bodies. They will look like tiny adults and are supposed to be on their own without their mother."

That's from a website called "Help…I Found a Baby Bunny!" It sounds like they know whereof they speak. So Super Carrot Guy et al. may have gotten big enough to "go to college," so to speak. I think you all should be on the lookout for small bunnies in your yard!

Also informative: the Orphaned Baby Bunnies FAQ.

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Robin July 23, 2010 at 3:13 am

Count yourself lucky that you don't know and assume they're living the high life. We had a bunny nest in the part of our yard that is enclosed by a fence b/c of our pool. We do every year, probably because it's enclosed and safer for them. As soon as we know it's there, we keep dogs out and stop mowing until they're gone. That's how bunny friendly we are here! This year on three different occasions we found a baby bunny floating in our pool. I can't explain how unnerving it is to look down and see a drowned bunny in your pool, let alone 3 of them. It felt like some kind or warning or omen of bad things to come. It was very weird and a little unsettling. Thought about putting out some rabbit prozac or anti-depresants just in case there were more.
PS found your blog thru a link on the Happiness Project blog and the baby bunny post was the first I read, so I felt compelled to share my story. Kind of therapeutic I guess so thanks for reading!

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Anonymous July 23, 2010 at 2:54 pm

The bunnies in the picture look a lot like the smallest of the bunnies we see hopping around our yard. I'd guess they just grew up! I seriously see ones which are small enough to fit in my hand (not that I've tried). So don't worry. . . they're probably nibbling clover as we speak.

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Anonymous July 23, 2010 at 2:56 pm

And as to "where is their mother" — rabbits nurse INSANELY quickly, to prevent exposing the nest to predators. Something like a few minutes a day.

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Anonymous July 24, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Mother rabbits nurse their babies w/ a nutritionally dense milk for only 5 min. every 24 hours. They do this in the night, so you will never see her with the babies. It's for their protection. The nest is enough to keep them warm and safe, and as they get older they simply start meandering and then go on their way. If they were still very small (i.e., hairless, eyes closed) and are gone, it's likely the mother rabbit moved them to a new, safer nest location.

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