July 21, 2006

My wild yard.

I picture hawks gliding around looking for prey -- with their hawkeyes -- and then swooping down and grabbing the unlucky furry thing. But this morning, in my front yard, I had a hawk stalking a bunny on foot. He had his tail fanned out and he was stalking. The bunny froze, then sought refuge under the car. The hawk walked right under the car. Now, that seemed awfully strange, especially since the bunny was larger than the hawk. What's going on?

I hope the hawks are coming back to live in my yard again. I've been noticing a lot of new bird activity here in the last week. I'm seeing goldfinches for the first time. They like to hang out in the beams above the window where I usually sit. And they seem to be building a nest. I welcome them too.

The main birds that love my yard year after year: cardinals. I love them too.

Meanwhile, that rabbit has a hole right in my front yard. I don't mind if a rabbit makes its home in my yard, but he's put the hole in a bad place. Any suggestions as to what I should do? Roll up a newspaper, set it on fire, and stick it in the hole? Is that wrong? Is that illegal? Would it work?

IN THE COMMENTS: Tibore explains the ways of the hawk... as learned watching cartoons:



The mention of cartoons inspires TioMoco:
What to do with the rabbit hole? Put a mailbox with the name "B. Bunny" next to it. That wascally wabbit always makes me chuckle...

And Icepick think I need this:



Tiggeril has a solution that reminds me of something Artie Bucco did in this past season of "The Sopranos," but you'll have to picture me with a gun in my front yard here in Madison, Wisconsin. Or... oh... I guess Elmer Fudd is the better pop culture reference, since we're doing cartoons. Or not, since I don't want to be the loser.

Ernst Blofeld tells a story with a great punchline. It's got rabbits, hawks, and Marines.

46 comments:

Chevyiii said...

Try this:
http://www.rodex.biz/action.html

Anthony said...

Wait a minute. . . .I thought you were moving to a downtown condo? Did I miss something?

I lived in Wisconsin for 22 years and never saw a cardinal. My mom started getting hummingbirds though. We have them out here in Seattle, too. They'll find a feeder within a day if you put one up.

Tibore said...

"...that seemed awfully strange, especially since the bunny was larger than the hawk. What's going on?"

Everything I need to know in life I've learned from cartoons. One of those things is that hawks always go for the meal bigger than them.

Another is that if you don't look down, you don't fall into the canyon.

TioMoco said...

What to do with the rabbit hole? Put a mailbox with the name "B. Bunny" next to it. That wascally wabbit always makes me chuckle...

As for birds, I too am noticing a comeback of peliated woodpeckers here in SW Ohio. Beautiful birds, when they're not pecking at bugs in my cedar siding. I've also seen a resurgence in redwing blackbirds around here.

I also saw a rare Northern Bobwhite in the Kitchener, Ontario area a few weeks back. Took a while to figure out what it was.

tioMoco

bearbee said...

Supreme Chutzpah for hire.

Has claws, will travel.

Icepick said...

Ann, clearly you need one of these to deal with your lagomorph problem.

tiggeril said...

I like TioMoco's idea.

tiggeril said...

This is my other suggestion.

Ernst Blofeld said...

I used to work with some crusty old former Marine NCOs. We also had a sweet little 19-year old girl working as a secretary straight out of high school.

One day they were eating their lunch outside near a field that had been overrun by rabbits. A few of them took the lettuce off their sandwich and tossed it out on the ground. The cute little fluffy bunnies hopped up, sniffed the lettuce, and started nibbling on it. The secretary thought this was cute.

All of the sudden, out of the clear blue sky, a hawk swooped down, seized the bunny in its talons, and flew off. The bunny gave a little screech before becoming bunny sushi back at the hawk's nest.

The girl was horrified. "Did you see that? The hawk grabbed that cute rabbit while we were feeding it!"

The crusty former Marine NCOs looked at each other. Finally one said "We weren't feeding the rabbits. We were feeding the hawks."

So, Ann, perhaps if you could put some lettuce out in the open and let nature take its course. Hawks have to eat, too.

Goesh said...

Get a bottle of tobasco sauce, mix it with a pint of water and a cup of cooking oil and dump it down the rabbit's burrow. You can also dump a small can of pepper into the burrow to finish the job. Burn a bunny, pay a fine and be known as the rabbit killing professor of Madison.

Joe said...

Blofeld reminded me of the time my wife was sweetly contemplating a baby cardinal at our bird feeder when WHAM a hawk struck, leaving a handful of red feathers in the snow. That was the last of our bird feeder.

Jennifer said...

Can't you just fill the hole in with dirt?

Then, maybe you could set up the B. Bunny mail box where you'd like the new hole to be.

Where's the attack kitty? This should be right up its alley.

Bissage said...

Warning. The making of a gratuitously cruel rabbit joke will have a consequence.

qqcifer said...

you'd better not risk a frontal assault. That rabbit's dynamite. And go change your armor

http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/mphg/mphg.htm#Scene%2033

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gerry said...

"Roll up a newspaper, set it on fire, and stick it in the hole? Is that wrong? Is that illegal? Would it work?"

I am having Caddyshack flashbacks. And I am hearing Kenny Loggins.

Bob said...

If you don't wish to kill the wabbit, you might consider this.

Mark Kaplan said...

Adopt a cat; your rabbit problems will be gone.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm not trying to kill the rabbit. Rabbits live in the neighborhood. I just don't want the hole in a place where I can see it in my front yard. My "smoking him out" idea isn't about burning the rabbit, just convincing him this isn't a good spot. I guess pepper is the better burn.

Ann Althouse said...

Adopt a cat? Grrr... I just got bitten by the cat that my neighbors allow to prowl all over my yard. That thing is like a panther. Maybe they've restrained it since it bit me. I should go over and tell them to let their bastard cat out again.

Verification word: hxbxpoxd. I'm going to buy some hxbxpoxd and dump it in the rabbit hole.

Gerry said...

"I'm not trying to kill the rabbit. "

Pity

Jennifer said...

I didn't realize you meant to put the burning paper in the hole while the rabbit was in there. Yes, that seems wrong.

For clarification, I meant to fill the hole in with dirt while the rabbit was away. You know, doing his thing with Elmer Fudd.

Ann Althouse said...

Cheviii: Rodex. That's really something...

Ann Althouse said...

Jennifer: Do rabbits live alone?

Jennifer said...

It depends on the bunny. Bugs does.

How many names are on the mailbox? And have there been any contracters over lately?

altoids1306 said...

You can also dump a small can of pepper into the burrow to finish the job. Burn a bunny, pay a fine and be known as the rabbit killing professor of Madison.

Ah, good point. Don't want to get the animal rights people riled up. But pepper might be too inhumane (too inrabbit?). If you can't use it on terrorists who saw heads off, you certainly can't use it on lettuce-nibbling bunnies.

Sanjay said...

I think -- I'm serious although I recognize there's an issue here -- you can put a little dogsh*t in the hole and that works. I mean, I _know_ it works for _some_ common rodent around the yard, I just don't know if it's _rabbits_. I also know at least one kind of rodent will happily remove the dogsh*t and put it back on your lawn. But anyway I think it has a good shot of working.

SippicanCottage said...

You're going to have a hard time gettin' a dog to sit on that hole at just the right moment...

MadisonMan said...

Carnivores such as dogs have inefficient digestive tracts, and some rodents will happily eat dog excrement. Better to have rabbits than rats.

Your neighbors' cat will take care of the problem, but you'll have to fill in the hole.

Internet Ronin said...

Bissage: That photo was great! I know someone who will be tickled pink by it. Thanks.

Ann: Rabbits are not solitary creatures.? That's why they reproduce so quickly ;-) Why not call the humane society and ask for their suggestions?

Bearbee: I once saw that happen to a wonderful cat. (Afraid that was not a reminder I enjoyed.)

Icepick said...

Sanjay, rabbits are not rodents. Rabbits are lagomorphs.

MadisonMan said...

ronin, the cat is leaping after the much bigger bird (that's how I see it, at least). The eagle does not appear to have its talons in the cat's head. Note the cat paws behind the eagle's tail, and the one talon is visible

somross said...

Yes, perhaps it's time to hire a rabbit-trapping contractor. But don't ask him if he reads the New York Times. We have rabbits that live all over our yard - the hardest thing is to avoid rabbit holes while cutting the lawn (someone else does that) so we don't have shredded bunnies in the clippings and to avoid stepping in the holes. My husband broke his ankle this spring stepping in a rabbit hole. I believe my entire town is solid bunnies six inches under the soil.

Simon Kenton said...

Fill in the rabbit's form, and piss on it.

bearbee said...

Internet Ronin said... Bearbee: I once saw that happen to a wonderful cat. (Afraid that was not a reminder I enjoyed.)

MadisonMan is correct. The photo shows the cat having jumped is attempting to attach itself to the hawks tail feathers. Its paws are on top of the tail feathers. I had blown up the photo to more clearly see the position of the cat in relation to the hawk. BTW I doubt the cat succeeded in bringing down the hawk.

bearbee said...

Ann Althouse said...
Jennifer: Do rabbits live alone?


They live in warrens. Haven't you read the wonderful Watership Down ?

Ann Althouse said...

I know rabbits don't live alone. My question was meant as a critique of Jennifer's plan.

Troy said...

Ann,

Here are some mean cats that might solve your bunny problem -- perhaps too efficiently.

Jay said...

You may not want to kill it, but how many bunnies do you want in your yard? Our cats never intimidated the bunnies around here, so don't hold hope for that. A pellet gun might be fun and lead to using tiggeril's recipe. Around here, the Illinois-Wisconsin border, the coyotes control the bunnies much better than the foxes did. We do have to take care of ground hogs and their burrows. We use buckshot or gas grenades you can buy at Ace hardware, but if you use the gas, be sure to hunt for and block up all of the exit holes. I would give that pepper-tabasco a try for the bunnies.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Rabbits is such idjits.
"Ya fur-bearin' varmint!"

An exchange I'd like to witness:

AA: Hi, Neighbor.
Neighbor: Hi, Ann. How's your wound healing?
AA: Fine. I notice the cat's been absent.
Neighbor: Yeah. We didn't think you wanted him around.
AA: Well, I have a wabbit and the commenters told me to get a cat to take care of it. Can you turn that prowling bastard loose again?

Ernst Blofeld said...

Some cats have delusions of grandeur:

http://www.greenapple.com/~jorp/amzanim/cat-eagle.jpg

Which reminds me of the Far Side comic of the cat at the pet store with two peg legs looking at the pirahna in a bowl.

Tibore said...

"How many names are on the mailbox? And have there been any contracters over lately?"

Contractors, no. But this Genius Coyote keeps showing up, trying to get the better of him...

Tibore said...

Okay, seriously, I know that my mom and her gardener friend uses dried blood meal (it's the first item on the linked page; mom buys hers at Wal Mart) to keep the rabbits out of her gardens. I'm not sure how to apply it to a whole lawn, but I know it works to keep rabbits away from specific areas. Mom can now grow her garden without it turning into an all-you-can-eat rabbit salad bar, like years past.

Richard said...

I lived most of my life in Iowa, where rabbits are pests. Cute, but pests nonetheless. I now live on the Gulf coast. One of my coworkers is from California, but his Californian girlfriend is in grad school in Iowa. He goes to visit and reports on the cultural differences. He was amazed that bunnies could be seen as evil. The exact words were, "Even the pests are friendly!"

Sanjay said...

Well, sure, but Watership Down would have you believe you might conceivably have a rabbit willing to brave dog feces, too.

Atiq Alam said...

Thanks so much for this wonderful website as well as this post. This post is the kind of thing that keeps me on track through. I’ve been looking around for this site after I heard about them from a buddy and was thrilled. Thanks a bunch. locksmith service Santa Clarita