Sunday, March 10, 2013

Outdoor Hour Challenge #44 Mammals: Rabbits and Hares

During February, we decided to re-visit the Outdoor Hour Challenge #44: Rabbits and Hares on The Handbook of Nature Study's blog after we fostered a rabbit through the Minnesota Companion Rabbit Society. Brooke (the rabbit) came to us very nervous and shaking. We gave her the opportunity to have some quiet space to herself and get comfortable in her new (temporary) home. 

The first day, Sophia played the harp for Brooke, and she seemed intrigued with the sound. Her ears perked up, and she listened intently as Sophia practiced many songs.

Brooke listening to Sophia play the harp.

We fed Brooke fresh lettuce each day as well as one tablespoon of treats (e.g., carrots, broccoli, celery) and one teaspoon of fruit (e.g., bananas, strawberries). 

Olivia with Brooke and her lettuce/treat bowl.

Within a few days, she was visibly calmer and interacting with us. She attended an adoption event a week later, and was adopted. People who saw her before coming to our home and at the adoption event were amazed at the transformation.

Despite our success with Brooke, we had no prior knowledge of caring for rabbits. It was a wonderful opportunity for  Sophia and Olivia to observe a rabbit up close and be responsible for her care. 

Although we had studied about rabbits prior to doing another nature journal entry about them, this time we had a different perspective and interest in them.

Sophia's nature journal page.

The girls each wrote some facts in their nature journals about rabbits based on a couple of books that we read.

Olivia's nature journal page.

Olivia also left part of a page of her nature journal open so she could include a picture of Brooke. 

The second page in Olivia's nature journal about rabbits.
This is the top half of the page. 
She left half a page for a photo (not shown).

She has many pictures to choose from. One of the ones we like is the picture of Brooke sitting next to Olivia who was laying on the floor. A split second later she hopped over Olivia. 

Brooke ready to jump over Olivia.

Outside there are countless rabbit tracks in both the front and backyards. One of the places the rabbits are using for their home is under a huge brush pile in the backyard. They also are gnawing on some of the branches that were from the apple tree that are in the pile.

Rabbit Tracks
Rabbit tracks in the backyard.

The dogs are fascinated with the rabbit tracks, and trying to find where they are hiding in the backyard. Cooper (the puppy) even crawls into the brush pile a bit to try to get a closer look at them.

Rabbit Cat and Dog Prints
Rabbit and dog prints.

We enjoyed learning more about rabbits - both domestic and wild - through this nature study.

Brooke by two of her favorite toys.

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