An Important Part Of The Food Chain
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A quick note: This blog will be on hiatus for a few days while Louisa and I visit some very close friends. I will resume posting either Sunday evening or Monday.
I often post about the predator species that I encounter at Sweetwater Wetlands. Bobcats, Coyotes, Red-tailed Hawks, and Great Horned Owls, all of these top predators show up at the wetlands from time to time. The wetlands are a small preserve, probably no more than about 30 or 40 acres of land in a heavily trafficked industrial area. What would attract these species to an area that is so compact?
Well, here’s an answer:
There are large numbers of cottontail rabbits living at the wetlands, so many that it is almost impossible to walk on the wetlands’ pathways without encountering one (and usually, several) of them. The wetlands’ moist environment produces an amazing amount of succulent vegetation and that in turn supports a big population of these little bunnies. Indeed, there are times when it almost appears as if there may be an oversupply of them
They are, of course, almost irresistibly cute. Their cuteness is made more so by their docile nature. They are totally inured to humans’ presence, so much so that one could almost pet one of them. I walked within 10 feet of this rabbit before photographing it and still, it didn’t budge. They are undoubtedly pretty easy pickings for the predators. This rabbit certainly doesn’t realize it but it plays an extremely important role in supporting other species that depend on it as food. And, although it may be a bit painful to think of something so cute getting slaughtered for a predator’s lunch, rest assured: there are plenty more where he or she came from.
Image made with a Canon 5Diii, 400 DO, aperture preferred setting, ISO 1000, f5 @ 1/400.