Monday, December 11, 2006

Cottontail Rabbit

We have many Cottontail rabbits in this area. You will recognize them by their brown fur and fuzzy white tail. They love to nest under our deck and amongst the many shrubs I have in our gardens. In the springtime I find much damage to the bark of the shrubs. Some of the shrubs seem to be quite tolerant of the chewing, like the Pussy Willow. But the evergreen juniper shrubs are beginning to die. I have had these shrubs for about 10 years and they offer wonderful warm cover for whatever critter wants to escape the cold. I don't completely blame the bunnies for damaging these shrubs. There have been burrows of about 4-6 inches in diameter that I have found around the root systems of these shrubs. Perhaps a woodchuck created these burrows but the rabbits like to get in and use this lower ground and evergreen cover to escape the wind and snow. I don't blame them. Some of the nests I have found have been lined with leaves and grass. Occasionally, I'll find a headless bunny in the yard that a wild cat killed. Gross. Now that I have Snickers, she keeps the cats out. We also have coyotes that roam the area. I don't let Snickers out at night without standing by the door. These animals have been known to take down small dogs. Snickers would be a good target because of the missing leg. I think she would give a good fight, though.

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