Easter hares and Easter rabbits


This video is called European or Brown Hare (Lepus europaeus).

From eNature Blog in the USA:

Is The Easter Bunny A Rabbit? Or Acually A Hare?

Posted on Friday, March 27, 2015 by eNature

Spring has sprung and Easter is right around the corner. That means the Easter Bunny is on the minds of many children.

And on the minds of many adults is the age-old question…..

Is the Easter Bunny a rabbit or a hare?

As many of our readers know, hares and rabbits are cousins. The good news for all candy-lovers is that both are well equipped by nature to handle the tasks that come with being the Easter Bunny.

Rabbit vs. Hare

It’s actually the European hare, or brown hare, that holds the impressive credential of being the original Easter Bunny. At least according to a Germanic legend dating back to the 1500s. The ritual of children preparing nests and eagerly anticipating the arrival of Oster Haas (Easter hare), who delivers brightly colored eggs on Easter morning, has taken place in German-speaking countries for centuries.

In the United States the cottontail rabbit has been designated as the official deliverer of Easter treats. This is easily evidenced by the lyrics in popular holiday tunes such as “Peter Cottontail,” and the presence of that signature fluffy white behind in every commercial rendition of the Easter Rabbit imaginable.

How are the Easter Hare (brown hare) and the Easter Rabbit (cottontail rabbit) equipped for the daunting tasks associated with their profession?

Let’s take a closer look at the unique features of these members of the family Leporidae to find out.

Night Time Is the Right Time

It goes without saying that the job of the Easter Rabbit requires lots of stamina and endurance. This small mammal must accomplish the seemingly impossible task of delivering hundreds of thousands of eggs to children in a single night. Both rabbits and hares are primarily nocturnal creatures, thus able to stay alert and on-task the entire Saturday night prior. Their most productive hours are at dawn and dusk, times of heightened activity and energy for the rabbit and hare. Both species are equipped with large eyes for seeing at night, and their large ears allow them to detect territorial intrusions.

Lickety Split

The forefeet and hindfeet of rabbits and hares have strong claws and a special type of thick hair on the lower surfaces that provides better gripping. Not only does this adaptation aid with running on uneven terrain, it may also allow for the skillful carrying and maneuvering of multiple Easter baskets with minimal slippage (and broken eggs).

With their longer hind legs, European hares have a competitive edge over cottontail rabbits, able to reach a running speed of 50 miles per hour. The agile hare has the speed and skills to outrun and outwit predators. Cottontails move at a swift, but decidedly slower pace than hares, and often rely on surface depressions and burrows to conceal themselves. So far, both the hare and rabbit have managed to elude humans on every Easter Sunday to date—an incredible feat indeed.

Many Wabbits

Though it would completely debunk the theory that there is just one Easter Rabbit, it wouldn’t be a stretch of the imagination to assume that egg-delivery is a task shared by a complex, vast network of hundreds, if not thousands of rabbits. There certainly are enough of them to cover all the territory. It’s no secret that rabbits and hares are an exceptionally fertile and active lot, often producing dozens of offspring over the course of lifetime.

Newborn hares would most quickly be able to jump on board and help with Easter tasks. Just minutes after being born, they are fully-furred and able to run around with relative ease. Alternately, newborn rabbits are ill-suited for just about any activity; they are born blind and naked, and require much coddling by their mothers before venturing out in the world.

On the Job Satisfaction

One has to wonder what the glamour and allure in being the Easter Bunny might be. One of the draws may be unlimited quantities food. While children drool over the chocolate eggs and other sweets delivered to them on Easter Sunday, rabbits and hares are no doubt enticed by their favorite edibles—grass and clover—found in many backyards. Perhaps the payoff is the pleasure of seeing the smiles on children’s faces when they discover the colorful Easter eggs that have been left for them. Or maybe it is the honor in upholding tradition, year after year.

Whatever the reward or rewards, you’ve got to commend the Easter Rabbit and the Easter Hare for hundreds of years of excellent service and on a job well done.

Learn more about the Eastern Cottontail.

More about the Desert Cottontail.

Japanese midges in Dutch sea water


Telmatogeton japonicus larva, photo by Floris Bennema

Translated from the Dutch Stichting ANEMOON marine biologists:

Sunday, March 29th, 2015

The marine splash midge Telmatogeton japonicus is found since 1963 in the Northwest European coastal waters. This insect, which is native to the area of Japan and Hawaii is a discreet but certainly interesting newcomer to our shores. Interesting, because the larvae live in our brackish and saline water. Precisely in that environment we see only very rarely and very few species of insects. Locally, on eg, buoys and wind turbines in the North Sea, this species has established itself massively.

Badger webcam in the Netherlands


This is a 30 March 2015 video from the Netherlands about the badger family about whom a webcam has now started.

There is now a webcam on the Internet about a badger family at their sett in Drenthe province, the Netherlands.

See also here.

Owl nest webcam updates from the United States


This video from the USA is called Baby Barred Owl with Barred Owl Adults Hooting.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

With the return of spring, two beloved cams—the Barn Owl cam in Texas and the Wild Birds Unlimited Barred Owl cam in Indiana—are back online and the excitement is building. Two eggs have been laid at the Barred Owl cam (watch highlight as the second egg is revealed), with a possible third on the way. We’ve also upgraded the view to full HD and improved the sound quality. Tune in to see the owls incubating and to hear the sounds of a midwestern woodland come to life.

Meanwhile, the Texas Barn Owls laid their first egg on the same day as the Cornell Hawks and may lay as many as 4-6 more in the coming days (watch highlight). We have a new cam positioned outside the entrance of a redesigned nest box that improves lighting and viewing angles. It’s been enlightening to see how often the male perches outside while the female stays within.

With nighttime viewing on both cams, you can watch 24/7—don’t miss a moment of the lives of these engaging owls!

On the Savannah Great Horned Owl cam the owlets are still spending time on camera, and the youngest has yet to leave the nest. The oldest owlet is exploring more of the nest tree and has started to climb higher up the surrounding branches (check out the highlight), sometimes flying from branch to branch. Mom has been calling to her young from nearby, possibly encouraging them to branch. Watch cam.

Rose-ringed parakeets preparing to sleep


This video, by Luuk Punt from the Netherlands, is about rose-ringed parakeets, also called ring-necked parakeets, Psittacula krameri, gathering in trees in Leiderdorp, the Netherlands, to sleep, on 23 October 2011.

Recently, big groups of rose-ringed parakeets started sleeping in Leiderdorp. They sleep in a part of the town called Vogelbuurt, where streets have birds’ names.

This Leiderdorp parakeet video is the sequel to the first one.

Red-tailed hawks in Cornell, USA, first egg


This video from the USA about red-tailed hawks says about itself:

CornellRTHA Cam ‘Finally We Have First Egg of 2015 11:38 am

28 March 2015

Hooray! We have the first egg of 2015. BR revealed the egg @ approximately 11:38 am. Congratulations to BR & EZ.

You can see it as she turns about 2:50 minutes in the video.

Camera Host: Cornell Lab of Ornithology

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

First Egg of the Year for Cornell Hawks

Big Red laid her first egg this year on March 28, 2015, just before 12:00 P.M. EDT. The new nest is not on the same light pole as last year; Big Red and Ezra renovated the nest at the pole where they nested in 2012. We should expect a possible second egg in the next 2–3 days, if previous seasons are anything to go by, and then maybe a third 2–3 days after that. Meanwhile, Ezra will continue to bring food for Big Red as incubation continues. Don’t miss a thing! Watch live now.

Cornell Hawks Live Chat

The live chat on the Cornell Hawks cam will launch in the coming weeks. We’re excited to share that this year we will be using a new pop-out chat tool called Chatroll to increase stability and chat performance. Until chat opens, and throughout the season, we welcome you to leave comments in the News section of the website or, if you have a Twitter account, you can also ask questions by tweeting @cornellhawks. Looking forward to another season!