Showing posts with label behaviour. Show all posts
Showing posts with label behaviour. Show all posts

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Rabbitto and Rabbitta - two more of our strange animals

Rabbitto, wearing the hat and scarf my daughter made for him (reluctantly)

We have a rabbit who lives with us, my eldest daughter bought him home about five years ago because his owners didn't want him and were going to put him down (she does that all the time). We call him Rabbitto. For the first four years with us he lived in a fairly large hutch, by himself. It always bothered me that he was alone because rabbits are social creatures and they need company. About a year ago I decided that he would be happier running around the yard, even if only for a short time (considering the predators that hunt in the area (cats, hawks, owls, etc), so I let him out and my daughters made up some shelters around the yard for him.
He is still there in the yard after a year, so I guess he is smarter than he looks. Lately we have noticed something; he has a girlfriend (or possibly a boyfriend), a wild rabbit who comes to visit and bond over the rabbit food we supply. We haven't seen rabbits in the local area before so she/he may be new to the property. We call her Rabbitta (assuming that our rabbit is heterosexual), she comes to play with Rabbitto through the fence and has dug her own little entrance into the yard which Rabbitto has ignored thus far. They run up and down the yard and jump around like mad followed by a quick nibble of rabbit kibble and a snooze in the sun side by side.

Rabbitto, in his winter coat (he wears the jacket mush better than a hat and scarf)

Rabbitta, blurry because the photo is taken at the extreme end of the camera's zoom function. She is a wild rabbit after all.

Rabbitto and Rabbitta having a rest in the sun

Talking through the fence.

I know there are many possible disasters in this scenario;
Over breeding of rabbits in our yard and surrounds
transfer of diseases from wild rabbits to our rabbit
holes all over the place
Rabbitto deciding to elope with Rabbitta

BUT; to me the advantages outway the possible disadvantages (so far);
Rabbitto is happy and fulfilled, waiting for Rabbitta to visit each day.
I love to watch them play together
They keep the lawn mowed between them

What do you think; am I being short sighted, should I nip the romance in the bud (probably full flower by now, rabbits court fast)?

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Animals playing around

I recently managed to get a few short clips of Roadie the butcher bird playing with various things around the house. I thought I would share them with everyone as I find the antics of the animals of our family (all species) endlessly mesmerizing.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in dogs?

This clip shows one of our dogs; Jess, guarding her pet guinea fowl. It may look like she wants to eat him, but she is actually looking after him. The little nips she gives him are a signal to move; herding behaviour. That particular guinea fowl was a sickly chick and so spent a month sleeping in a box by the fire, which is also where Jess sleeps (not in a box, on a mat by the fire), so they must have bonded. She spends her day following him and if he gets into a fight (which he does a lot) she will move in and break it up. When he goes outside the yard where she can't follow Jess will sit at the gate looking worried until he returns. When he flies up into a tree to sleep at night Jess comes to the door to be let in, she flops down by the fire with a sigh that sounds like the one I give when I get home from work.

Jess has an adult puppy; Val, who also lives with us, but she has never been like that with her own pup. I don't know if this is frustrated herding/ guardian behaviour or if she has an OCD tendency.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

This is a short clip showing two of the birds who call our place home arguing about who owns 'my' wool basket. They are both from the Corvidia family; a currawong (big black one) and a butcher bird (grey scale one) and so are about as smart as the average 5 year old. We raised both of them and they have both spent considerable time in the wool basket as chicks.
All our animals (kids included) go through a 'we don't hit' learning phase where we show them it isn't acceptable to be violent in the house, that way there is a safe zone for everyone even natural enemies like these two.
You can see them both asserting their right to the basket but being too polite to fight because I am there. They sometimes roost together in the house so are not really enemies, although their species usually are. Things will probably change when they both have children (you know what that's like).

Pew (the currawong) has left home and joined a gang of juvenile currawongs although he still spends about one day a week at home. We expect that to change when he gets a steady girlfriend and hope he doesn't bring the grandkids home for baby sitting too often.
Roadie (the butcherbird) is hunting for himself and doesn't need help with anything. He still sleeps inside (its Winter and the stove is warm) on a high perch and relies on us for affection (play and cuddles) but that will change in the Summer when he starts to look for a mate. Being a member of a solitary species, he won't join a gang but will find a single girl and settle down for life.
With wild birds there is always a risk of over-humanizing (and who wants more of them) but the risk is fairly low with the corvid family, thanks to their intelligence.
The galahs on the other hand......well that's a story for tomorrow.