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A morning surprise

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Around 8 AM this morning, I looked out the back door and there was a rabbit on my porch steps! They're all around; I see them at the feeder at dusk, and I see their tracks in the morning - but this is the first time I know of that one has been at the feeder in the daylight.

(S)he went from the porch to the ground feeder - which you can see had been pretty much depleted overnight. I wonder if this means they're getting really hungry, or if they feel more secure now at the feeder area, or if there's some other explanation. I wouldn't be surprised at this if there were a big storm on the way, but there's nothing in the forecast.

You may also note that the combination of melting, pecking for the spilled seed, and digging by the turkeys has resulted in the ground feeder now sitting on an island! The plywood bottom is somewhat the worse for wear; the normal weathering (it's not exterior plywood, and was somewhat delaminated when I got it from my father) has been exacerbated by squirrels pulling up pieces of the floor to get at seed underneath!
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pkin38

You have the best of all worlds Dondi...

texasstar7

What a cool surprise! I live right by the lake and see all kinds of wildlife, but never any rabbits. Lucky you!

dondi

P.S. - Notice how the ears are aimed at 90° in the portrait, but both aiming back while feeding, covering the area which is out of sight. Both ears aimed back seems a common pose during feeding; I've seen it before. They have remarkable range to rotate their ears, and complete individual control of them.

dondi

Actually, smllpkg, I've been mentally designing one since I picked this up from my father, since it was clearly a hacked-together solution. I'll let you know what I come up with.

Mble, we have a red-tail hawk pair, but I haven't seen them around lately. But at night they have the horned owls to contend with, so it's probably a wash. When they're out of cover, they're vulnerable regardless. But my feeders are close to cover - a shed, a spruce tree, and my porch, which sits several feet off the ground and is sheltered by snow and ice drifts - they use it as an intermediate stop, where they can scope out the feeders from cover.

Great photos, dondi. Hope you rabbit won't attract a hawk's attention being out during the day. Our wild rabbits have been the victims of hawks here lately, all I find is rabbit fur at the end of their tracks. They now seem to be out only well after dark. -Merrie

tigress

Wonderful pics, Don! Love the close up on the left. Thank you. Fingers crossed that you don't get another storm. :-)

pumpkinhead

The close up of his (her) face is great, Don.

smllpkg101

There's another project for you this summer, dondi. Repairing the ground feeder!

wolflady

I noticed also that the birds & critters eat so much more right before a storm, and we
have had our share. Don't even know what grass looks like anymore. My bunnies
only come out at night, and finish off the seed and corn that the deer left. The raccoons
have been coming out in the daytime once in a while too, they are all so hungry.
Poor things, even the little chipmunk came out yesterday to my ground feeder by
the front door. I will have a mess to clean up in the spring out front, and hopefully
won't get in trouble with the association. Thanks for the nice picture.

bluebird42

Haven't seen any rabbits yet this year either. Great photos. Thanks.

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