Tag Archives: desert cottontail

I need a bunny nest detector!

The cardinal rule for landscapers is to locate all underground utilities and water lines before digging. What I need is a bunny nest detector! Here are a couple of shots from last week of two baby Desert Cottontails. It just occurred to me this morning why I happened to see them when I did. When I was digging irrigation holes for another tree, I inadvertently disturbed a rabbit nest 🙁

When I finished the 5th hole and turned around, I saw one little bunny hopping under the bush above the hole. Unbelievably cute! My camera was close by and when I looked through the viewfinder, I could see there were two. As I was going back and forth between the house and the tree, I would notice the mother and after about a half hour, they were all gone. I sure hope they make it as I don’t think they were quite ready to be on their own.

Bunnies probably came from hole below.
Bunnies probably came from hole below.

Yesterday morning, I noticed a Desert Cottontail digging a hole in the front courtyard between two Lantana. Each time I passed the hole, I told myself : “get a documentary photo!”. I can see it from my kitchen window so I could have taken a shot with her by the hole but I was really busy yesterday and by the time I finally got the camera, she had covered the hole.

This is the 3rd time I’ve see a hole dug and then covered so I became really curious. After much googling, I could not find any mention of holes being covered back up with dirt. But…I did read that that they cover their nests for protection and when I wrote asking a friend (thanks Steve), he said he read that they “plugged” their nests.

So….after learning how they feed their babies, I’m guessing the dirt serves to cover their scent and thus protect them from predators. How do they feed their babies? This is so cool! She simply lays across the hole and the babies come up and suckle. I’m betting they’re born with an instinct to dig and they go through the dirt to get to her.

(Stay tuned. I’m going to try some time lapse photography to see if I can catch her sitting on the nest!)

desert cottontail

I spotted this Desert Cottontail yesterday evening as I started to drive away from the Tom’s Thumb trailhead (yes…I’m a glutton for punishment 🙂 . I stopped my vehicle hoping he wouldn’t move. A few moments later, he snacked on a Buckhorn Cholla bloom.

Desert Cottontail eating a Buckhorn Cholla bloom
Desert Cottontail eating a Buckhorn Cholla bloom

So…Jerry…what I mentioned yesterday morning really works. Get out late in the day and you’ll have better luck capturing animals!