The Post – Backyard Animal Update: “It’s a Vicious Bunny!! Look at the Bones!!”

Well I started off yesterday to write about the animals I love watching in my yard and ended up down a totally different path. So today, backyard animal update, with a shade of Monty Python and the Holy Grail’s vicious bunny even!! At least to a squirrel.

My husband looked out the window the other morning and watched this scene unfold between a cute little brown bunny and a fairly young squirrel:

“The bunny came down the driveway and hopped over to the front bird feeder. While he poked around under the feeder looking for stray seeds, an fairly young squirrel came along. The squirrel stopped at the sight of the animal. It was clear the squirrel was confused by the rabbit. His facial expression was one of ‘what kind of a squirrel is that?’ The young squirrel hopped closer, stopped, and looked. Still confused he moved closer and closer, always stopping to stare at the strange squirrel under the feeder. Finally the squirrel was almost next to the rabbit.

The rabbit, meanwhile, observed the approaching squirrel, none too pleased. The rabbit inched away, then inched away, then glared at the squirrel as if to say ‘Dude. You’re in my space.’

The squirrel, still confused, inched toward the rabbit one last time. The vicious bunny suddenly leaped into the air, landing square on the squirrel and stomping him flat. Then the cute little bunny leaped back and resumed eating seeds as if nothing had happened. The young squirrel, slightly dazed, staggered back and resumed eating seeds a few feet away this time.”

So while these two usually furry, snuggly supposedly unvicious creatures duked it out in the front yard, the backyard had the two brutes best avoided, snapping turtles, sound asleep on logs in the pond. These guys can have a shell up to 20 inches in size and average about 40 lbs. though some can go up to 75 lbs. They have thick necks and a large hooked mouth with jaws that can crush:

“The snapping turtle is an exceedingly voracious brute, and is not particular as to its dinner. Young waterfowl are stalked from beneath the surface, seized by a dart of the jaws and pulled below to drown and be quickly torn to pieces. The turtle is carnivorous. It never feeds unless underwater, but it will sometimes seize prey on the bank of a stream and then retreat to the water to dine.” (From the entry on snapping turtles on the website Critter Zone; great pictures too)

Yet…these two brutes are sound asleep almost side by side, while the bunny brute in the front yard tromps the defenseless juvenile squirrel….

Standing on the front porch waiting for my son to let me in the house (forgot those house keys!), I turned toward the small House Wren feeder hanging on one of the porch posts and thought I saw something in it. I though it was an abundance of nest material some bird had stuffed in there and abandoned, and was about to reach for it to take it down to clean it, when I noticed the nest material looked like a bird head. My son confirmed my thoughts and after we went inside, we saw the “pile of nest material” move. So we have house wrens nesting on the front porch…or at least in a nest box. House wrens have been known to create a few “false nests” so you can’t find their actual nest….but I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the “for real one” as I don’t think the mom stays in the “fake nests.”

The 9 goslings are as big as ducks now, but still make the child-like squeak sounds. I was sitting on the patio last night and they, knowing me as the “Corn God” as I sometimes will put out a cup or two of corn for them in the back ground feeder, quietly gathered around me as I read on the patio. Even the babies came up to me and just stood there, making their baby chirps, staring at me like “where’s the food???”

Inside the house, Admiral Byrd decided to try hanging out on top of the water filter. He finally got up there. Usually it’s the domain of the ladies when they’re pregnant. Since I doubt that’s his issue, and since they were hiding in caves, not sure why he was up there. I have some pictures of him up there I’ll share in a day or two.

And yesterday, Admiral Byrd and one of the ladies was keeping company in his bachelor pad. So….all kinds of goings on in the animal kingdoms inside and outside of our house.

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