Disturbed wild cottontail nest
My dog dug up a litter of wild rabbits. Their eyes are still shut but they have started getting their fur in. The nest was intact so I just covered it back up and have been checking on them. I haven't removed any of the rabbits and I am positive the doe has been returning to feed them (the nest was disturbed when I returned in the morning).
My concern is that it's supposed to be in the 30s tonight. In Texas? In May? WHAT? It's ridiculous, but I guess I feel responsible for the little kits nested in my backyard. How warm is the nest? Will it be warm enough for them to not freeze to death? It rained earlier today and for fear of them drowning I placed a small table over the nest to prevent rain water from directly entering. I haven't completely dug up the nest so I can only guess there are maybe 4 or 5 kits. I just don't want them to freeze.***** Karen Sez *****
What a great picture! This is exactly how new world cottontails start their lives - in shallow "forms" in the ground, not in burrows per se. It does look chilly, and even open to the rain, but, look how many cottontails roam the nation. They all did fine.
Excellent job for leaving the bunnies in their nest. And you're right - the doe is lurking around and returns to her nest only once or twice a day. You probably don't need to worry about temperature or even the rain, though it's a nice touch to put a table over the nest.
I think the website readers will be anxious to get an update on how these bunnies survive.
Gotta say, though, they look well fed, and have probably 6-8 days fur growth on them, meaning they are protected from ambient temperatures due to their fur and the combined heat of the litter cluster.
Thanks for posting.