Friday, June 20, 2008

Drama in the driveway

I'd thought there must be a cat prowling through the garden with all the fuss the robins and bluejays were making. I went outside, flip-flop in hand (they're excellent flung at neighborhood strays) and found that the fuss was due to a red-tail on our roof. Strange, I thought. It flew to the black locust in the neighbor's yard and I watched it for a while and cheered the robins for their bravery in dive-bombing it.

An hour or so later the DH whispered, "Come here, quick!" from beside the kitchen window. The red-tail was back, this time on the ground, high-stepping through the grass beside the driveway. Hawks look so out of their element on the ground, don't they?

Then I noticed the tiny wriggling baby bunnies on the driveway. Three in all, spread out beneath my car, one in the shadow of a tire.

Hmmm. What to do?

Dutifully, bunny-lover that I am, I stepped out the door and the red-tail flew off to the neighbor's roof.

The nest had been dug weeks ago and then abandoned. Too close, I'd thought, to Luka's run of the yard. Looking inside it now, I found two newborn kits in the middle of a hastily covered scrape. Following the trail of newborn bunnies under the car, I saw the mother rabbit crouched beneath the transmission.

I returned the babies to their nest and wondered what had happened. Was the mother interrupted in her birthing by the hawk - does that explain two in the nest and three others spread out in the driveway? Had the hawk discovered the nest and the momma bunny caught in the middle of moving them somewhere safe? Was the hawk on the ground after the babies or the mother? Odd the mysteries that play themselves out if we're paying attention, I think.

I wonder if they'll survive, if the mother will come back to nurse them as she should. I wonder, too, that the red-tail won't come back.

17 comments:

Rabbits' Guy said...

Amazing how long and hard mankind has been searching for answers and the questions just keep on coming ... Ms. Nature is quite the teacher!

Susan Gets Native said...

I get the feeling that this is not the post to say, "Oh, well. Hawks need to eat, too."
So I won't.
; )~

Maybe Momma was moving them and got interrupted. Or another sequence of events caused them to be strewn along your driveway. That's a mystery, girl.
You and me this week. Babies galore.

Pretty nail polish by the way. : )

bunnygirl said...

I hope the little critters make it! Nature does what it must, but we can still care.

LauraHinNJ said...

Rabbit's Guy: More questions than answers, I think.

Susan: That's not exactly right - cause I like hawks a lot too... and I thought of the probability that those babies would die anyway and the hawk probably had a family to feed...

Awful Barbie pink. Ick.

Bunnygirl: Yeah. We'll see.

egretsnest said...

A mystery indeed. I hope the babies make it and yet . . . I hope the hawk found some other prey -- maybe a nice fat squirrel fresh from raiding some bird lovers feeder to eat! :)

Dave said...

Somewhere in N.J. CSI? Nature sure is a mystery.

Jayne said...

I've never seen a just born baby bunny. When I first click on your post, I thought it was a opossum! Hmmm.... will be interesting to see if the mom does nurse them, or if she will first move them someplace safer since she knows the Red-Tail will probably come back?

NCmountainwoman said...

Interesting how we get caught up in these things, isn't it? I wish the bunnies well, but I have some doubts about their future. Keep us posted.

Floridacracker said...

Wow. Drama up close and personal. I'm thinking this was a dilemma for a bunny/bird lover.

Thanks for sharing that!

divakitty said...

I would have tried to save them all, but then I'm just a mush pot.

Sekhar said...

Hmm.. Touching picture. But I must say, this is the food-circle that nature follows to maintain balance. Just the way we gobble chicken, and mutton, this too had to go.
But overall as a human with a big caring heart, I too hope that the babies make it.
And by the way, Laura are you veggy :)

Larry said...

Interesting-These are all just natural events that occur in nature but its hard not to become a little bit emotionally involved when something like this happens.-When I was on vacation. a Red Squirrel was making all kinds of noise trying to get to an Eastern Phoebe nest in the rafters.-I guess it was tired of being a vegeterian.

LauraHinNJ said...

Liza: Yeah, me too.

;-)

Dave: Ha.

Jayne: Adorable, no? They seem to be doing okay so far... all warm and squiggly.

NCMountainWoman: Right... it's not easy being a bunny afterall.

FC: A dilema, yeah. Worked out okay, I think.

DK: Me, too.

;-)

Sekhar: I know, I know... the cycle of life. Hard to watch, sometimes.

Vegetarian? Me? Pretty much almost sometimes. I have a thing for meatballs, tho.

Larry: Really? That's a surpise!

Larry said...

Yes-actually I was reading that they will go after young birds or egggs now and then.-Chipmunks will do the same.

Anonymous said...

I remember reading that rabbits will abandon a nest if they feel that they are in danger. In other words, the mama will bail out on the babies, and not return. I also remember hearing when I was younger that touching baby rabbits will cause the mother rabbit to once again abandon the nest due to the human scent that has been placed on the baby. I have a feeling that your baby bunnies are probably gone now, but I hope that my comment above are incorrect, and that they are all ok.

From my own past experience with wild bunnies in New Jersey, my comments above seem to be true.

LauraHinNJ said...

Larry: Hm.. never heard of that.

Anonymous: Hi, thanks. I believe a mamma might abandon the nest if she senses danger sure, but think it an old wives' tale that the scent of humans will cause that.

I'm happy to report that all seems okay so far. I peeked in yesterday and they were warm and comfy.

:-)

dguzman said...

Wow, what a tiny little life you held in your hands.