Online, we learned that it's darn difficult to keep cats out of places where they really want to go but we laid chicken wire on the ground, strung shiny moving things in the lilac bush, and sprayed a nasty-smelling dog and cat repellant along our fence. Luckily, our strategy didn't also repel mama bunny. We also learned online that rabbit mothers only visit the nest around dawn and dusk, and then for only about 5 minutes. Sure enough, when we watched closely, she'd show up when it was nearly dark and really hard to see her, circle the lilac bush to make sure it was safe, then stealthily jump into the bush. Even with binoculars it was very difficult to see her in the bush while feeding her young.
We've left the nest alone, as difficult as that has been, only checking occasionally that the bedding material of soft fur and dried grasses was patted down and covering the small dug-out hole with the babies inside. But Saturday, as I took a peek at the bedding, I noticed a large number of small ants swarming around the nest area. I got really sad, because a big group of ants often indicates something dead nearby. I asked hubby to do the dirty work of checking more closely but surprisingly, the two babies are fine and way too adorable! Mother Nature would not be happy but I had to see these little cuties up close, so hubby pulled one of them out of the hole for Alexander and me. Their eyes are now open and their back legs are already strong. Since they only stay in the nest for 16-20 days, I expect they're going to be hopping out any day now. What a fun learning experience this has been!