Young Rabbit, Hawk & Little Bird Tales

Our first tale is of a baby pygmy cottontail rabbit arrived from Santa Clara, Utah. It was brought to us in a small box with blood on its nose and appeared to be in shock. The rescuer said two cats had it cornered and he wasn’t sure if it was hurt.

Susan observed that most likely the baby had left the nest and appeared to be about 3 weeks old and at this point formula was no longer needed and could cause harm. With their delicate digestive system and the stress of handling, it was better to not force anything but to leave it quiet with food available.

We placed the baby rabbit with a small hiding box into one of our small fabric puppy playpens. We left it with fresh alfalfa and native grasses in its quiet darkened safe place where we just continued to add fresh food for the first week. Water was also made available, however wild rabbits get most of their water from the plants they eat or from morning dew on the plants.

The second week it stayed in a slightly larger cage where we continued to provide natural grasses and alfalfa until its release back to the wild. We relocated it to an area with other pygmy cottontail rabbits where cover and food was abundant.

Our next tale is of a young Cooper’s hawk that had fledged and left its nest. The parents have begun their migration, leaving their young to figure out how to find food on their own.

We frequently have coopers hawks hunt pigeons in our yard as they migrate through our area. This is common as they follow flocks of small birds which is their primary diet and are occasionally seen speeding through backyards snatching small birds attracted to backyard feeders.

While sitting in the front yard one evening, Susan was with Martin as he was holding and manning Belle. Martin pointed out the young coopers hawk and young pigeon to Susan as they moved around on top of our pigeon coop. After watching them for several minutes Susan began to video as it was very apparent that the pigeon and the hawk were both unsure how to handle the situation.

The pigeon was lucky this time as the hawk hadn’t learned yet how to catch something so large, but when the hawk gains experience, next time the pigeon might not be so lucky.

Other tales in this video include the care, feeding and release of many house finches, a Wren and a Kingbird.

Raising Rescued Baby Jackrabbit

Susan has been very busy with many young critters arriving at the Southwest Wildlife Foundation of Utah! This young jackrabbit came from a construction area. With so much activity around, there really wasn’t a safe place for the young one.

Young Jackrabbits are extremely problematic to raise and take much diligence, experience and knowledge to properly attend to. Susan was up all hours making sure everything was just right.

If you find a young rabbit or any other critter, please do not try to raise it yourself. It is best to contact a local rehabber, fish & game or the non-emergency police line.

Rescued Young Chipmunks

These young chipmunks arrived on May24th. They were very, very weak and dehydrated. They had been found just outside of their nest, with no mother around. After realizing how difficult it is to care for such young critters, the rescuers brought them to the Southwest Wildlife Foundation of Utah. Susan began around the clock care with a special formula thinned down to get plenty of electrolytes into them. After initial struggles to get them to take the formula, they began perking up and eating more. Feedings were every three hours while closely monitoring their weight.

Three Very Young Bunnies

Three very young bunnies were brought into the Southwest Wildlife Foundation on April 9th. They were only six days old. They had been dug up by a construction crew in St. George. Special thanks to Amanda Bundy for taking the time to save them and drive them up to Cedar City.

Of the three babies, we lost one the first night when they became overheated. Proper temperature is really difficult – just a few degrees too high or too low can cost a baby its life. The smallest of the litter did not survive either as we were unable to get the small one to eat enough.

The last one, the sole survivor, open its eyes and seemed to learn to eat well from the Miracle Nipple. One of our assistant wildlife rehabilitators, KayAnne, took over to give Susan a break. As shown in this video, things looked to be going really great, however, this one too, did not survive. Raising bunnies from a such a young age is very difficult.