PF Discovers the Bird Block

PF, a Junco, and the Bird Block

I’ve known for a long time that squirrels will poach from bird feeders, but I never realized that cottontail bunnies would.  Then PF came into our lives.

We first met PF early this summer when he’d sneak between loose boards on our fence to graze on the native plants that make up a good portion of our landscaping.  This was fine with us.  Native bunny.  Native plants.

Then PF discovered string beans.  This was not so good.  We grow the string beans for us.  The guinea pigs get an occasional treat, but if PF kept eating the better part of a plant at a sitting, then no one was going to get any string beans: not us, not the guinea pigs, and not PF.

By this point in our relationship, PF was nearly tame, so finding out how he was getting into the yard was very easy.  I would walk out into the yard, then PF would hippetty-hop slowly toward the closest exit: usually a part of the fence with a loose or missing board.  I would then block the opening and, if a new board was needed, Jim would put it in that weekend.

It turned out that PF had numerous ingresses to our yard but, through process of elimination, he showed them to us one by one.  The hardest one to fix was the gate, where he proved able to squeeze through a space that seemed far too narrow for such a robust cottontail.

Finally, we closed all the gaps.  PF was not pleased with us.  When I discovered he had been trying to dig through the gravel and under the gate (a task that proved impossible because the gravel bed is too dense), he earned his nickname: Persistent Forager or PF.

PF did not abandon us, returning repeatedly to eat the grass that grew up through the landscaping gravel in the front yard.  I appreciated this.  It saved me weeding.  I even worried a little about what PF would do when the grass was killed back by the cold.

PF Takes a Closer Look, Supervised By a Ring-necked Dove

I need not have worried.  A few weeks ago, after we put out a bird block for the winter birds, we noticed an odd sculpted panel along lower sections.  We figured it was caused by smaller birds that could perch on the edges of the concrete birdbath we used as a pedestal for the bird block.  Then we noticed PF was coming by, and soon after we caught him in the act of, once again, persistently foraging.

PF Takes a Bite

The birds don’t seem to mind, and we find PF’s company amusing, so we don’t plan to create any barrier to his enjoyment. That’s probably a good thing. PF, the persistent forager, would probably find a way around it.



2 Responses to “PF Discovers the Bird Block”

  1. John C Says:

    I’ve been a fan of wild rabbits since reading Watership Down when I was younger.

    We have a few rabbits in our neighborhood, and we’re always happy to see them. They don’t seem too concerned about our cat. I’ve seen him hiding near them, posing as a great hunter, but I’m pretty sure he’s mostly an observer. We even let them have their fun with our garden this past season; the company was worth it.

    I haven’t seen them in a while, and I’m hoping the cold has driven them away. A less cheerful alternative is our neighborhood hawks.

    Did Watership Down capture your imagination as well?

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