Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Finally, a Cottontail.

It's 3 degrees F. currently but photo period seems to be doing it's work as I saw two Red-tails dancing this afternoon over a field on the edge of town. Not with the intensity that will occur later but still even in the Midwest the reproductive hormones are surging.

And speaking of reproductive hormones, I've been looking at rabbit tracks, traces of the traditional sex fiends, for weeks without once sighting a rabbit. There are a number of different sized tracks so there have to be a number of cottontails out there. Check out the tracks. Why haven't I seen them? I finally found out why.

Peeking out the back curtains at 2:30 this morning, I scared a very small cottontail out of his wits and out from under the bird feeder. So that's it. No dawn and dusk feeding for these guys. They browse in the wee hours. Well the Red-tails are roosting and I've not seen or heard much
in the way of owls. Though I hear a Great Horned nested up by St. Mary's Church last season, she's off on her winter vacation by now. Bunnies are no dummies, they're adaptable and eat when they're less likely to be eaten.

Visualize how rabbits actually perambulate. It's really odd when you think about it. They've the tiny legs and feet in the front and large heavily muscled legs in the back. So when they go forward at a run the big back legs cross past the little front ones and bong, the leap forward takes place. I'm thinking that the smaller front legs are instrumental in balance and as a kind of pivot in controlling the direction of the leap at the last second for evasive moves. See here, how there are two hops one direction and suddenly bunny has done a neat quarter turn during the third hop in the air and comes down cleanly in a new direction.

Look it's Rabbit scat. Actually I've never noticed the yellow snow, okay brown snow, created by bunnies before.

What happened here?

The two craters are probably from snow falling off the tree, but what about the two depressions on the edge of the drift that are definitely from feet?

I don't know how the creature got there unless they're from a bird.

Oh, come on! They're just the right size for a crow.

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