Meet Bionic Bunny a wonder of Nature

(Here is an image of Bionic Bunny ‘Pre-metamorphosis’ when he was just your average cottontail rabbit – see lower right-hand side of photo)

Ah, the Great Outdoors is forever filled with wonder and mystery and every once and awhile you stumbled across something special; that rare animal with a unique gift or attribute. In this case it is the story of how an average run-of-the-mill rabbit transformed into a ‘super bunny’ with superior bionic strength and stealth.

I should preface this story by explaining why bunnies are hanging around my deer feeder in the first place. Each morning when I inspect my deer trough and clean-off the top layer of snow or ice, a small amount of feed would spread out across the snow. The cottontails got into the habit of feeding on these small bits of feed and pellet.

Then last week when was away on holidays there was no feed scraps being spread about the snow, and one smart little bunny devised a plan to deal with the sudden lack of food.

Sure, we all know rabbits can jump as we see them hopping here and hopping there, but what would give a lowly cottontail rabbit the foresight to jump up into a feed trough to find food?

I surmised that this litle rabbit must be very special indeed. He MUST be Bionic that was the only explanation, and in the trail-cam series below you’ll not only witness this gifted animal’s thought process unfolding, you’ll observe its’ magical transformation from average Joe cottontail rabbit into – BIONIC BUNNY!

(In this image you can almost see the thought process unfold – “Man, if only I could get into that trough all the food would be mine”. He tries to climb the frame of the feeder but to no avail) 


(Then Mr. Bunny moves to the other side to cop a squat and ponder his options…)


(Sitting back on his haunches to the left of the feeder, you can almost see his little rabbit brain at work!)


(He ponders a bit more then something strange occurs; an actual metamorphosis begins – all right there to be captured on trailcam!)


(With the intestinal fortitude of a thousand rabbits, Bionic Bunny lunges upward at a lightly fast speed!)



(Flying through the air in this image, you can almost see a tiny little superhero’s cape blowing behind him)



(And with his master plan now come to fruition, Bionic Bunny settles-inside the feed trough for the meal of a lifetime. This clever little critter is no longer just your average cottontail. Bionic Bunny has gone where no bunny has gone before –  jumping nearly 3 vertical feet into the unknown in search of food.)



OK folks, I realize the entire tale is hard to believe had I not captured it all on trail-camera. Oh yes, and I have seen Bionic Bunny since then out in the back field. He walks a little taller than the rest of the rabbits; armed with the knowledge that at any moment he may transform again into Bionic Bunny should the need arise.

Yep, and just when I thought I had seen it all in the Great Outdoors…










58 thoughts on “Meet Bionic Bunny a wonder of Nature”

  1. Sorry Jeff .Bionic bunny is no cottontail. Cottontails stay brown all winter.Yours is a varying hare.The most common in this end of town.There are cottontails around but tend to stay more toward the agricultural areas. Lets hope he can outrun and jump the yotes that we also saw at that feeder in previous pics. As a teenager we used to go to the town of Russell and hunt for rabbits on the turnip farms down there.If we went home with less than 3/4″s of our limit we did not hunt hard enough because they were all over the place and fat.Now there are houses all over there instead.

    1. Nope..sorry Rebel, this little guy is 100% bonafid cottontail! I know my lagamorphs..and all the ones around my place are rabbits. Not a snowshoe(varying) hare or European hare anywhere around my property.

      You can see them during the day these guys are all brown..with shorter legs and bodies that hares…which makes it all that more impressive I would think..hehe

      I have, however, seen snowshoe hares in forests and far back fields, but none around my place for some reason.


    1. prob rebel, I’ll post some daytime pics of these guys and you’ll see plain as day they’re all cottontails.


      1. the funny thing I notice this winter, as compared to last year is the high number of cottontails around..and the low number of raccoons around!

        Last winter with the lack of snow..and a couple of midwinter thaws, the coons were out of their hiding places and poking around. This year, I havent seen one in prob 6 weeks…too bad, I miss them – not!


  2. cool pics!! Interesting how fast animals adapt to new food sources. I should put a camera in my barn, there are cottontails that live in it in winter and it’s surprising where I find their pellets. There have been indications of them in the hay mow and I have no idea how they would get up there.
    Lagamorph stew, yum.

  3. I agree with Jeff that this is a cottontail. A varying hare’s coat colour varies from brown to white depending on the time of year. The rabbit is very brown instead of the very white which varying hare’s a coloured at this time of year.

  4. Jeff, we too have seen a drastic shift in the increased number of rabbits and decreased number of raccoons. At $30.00 a piece for about 10 minutes work I do miss them masked bandits.

    Cool bunny pics tho. You name them too or are they destined for the frying pan ?

    1. hehe…no Trapper, so far Bionic Bunny is the only one I have named. I doubt any will be destined for the frying pan either as back when I hunted snowshoe hares a bit, I wasn’t a huge fan of rabbit as table fare. You’d think being from QC I would enjoy rabbit meat..the Francophones loved them!

      Sorry man, I dont share your love of the masked bandits..even back in the trapping days we considered them an incidental catch in our fisher sets.

      “15 minutes work for $30″…man, I musta been doing something wrong!


  5. Hi Jeff,
    Just checking in to see what’s going on.
    I have two cottontails at my bird feeder every morning ( early) and just at dusk. I swear they know how to tell time! They love the wild bird seed. Also have a lot of wild turkeys, and they’re becoming quite tame. They will slowly walk away as I approach them, even with my dogs. Sure are pigs at the feeder though. I worry about the survival of the grouse,haven’t seen as many as I used to. Used to see a lot of hares too, but haven’t seen any now for years.
    My son saw a fisher on his property. Took a picture then checked out his tracks. Was amazed at the size of this guy.

    1. Hey Carol..nice to hear from you and welcome back!

      hehe…it’s funny, I figured these two recent ‘wildlife observation’ Blog posts might bring you out.

      I like to put-out ‘non-hunting’ specific material now and again..just to mix it up…either that or secretly I’m a tree-hugger and just don’t know it yet..hehe


  6. I’m sure you are a tree hugger Jeff!
    I bet you feed chickadees out of the palm of your hand too. I’d love to see a picture of that! 🙂

    1. hehe…Carol, I have actually done that with chickadees, and chipmunks…and whiskey Jacks too!

      Guess I’m what one would describe as a bit of a conundrum – love to hunt and practise conservation while being an animal lover whole-heartedly!

      Of course as we’ve pointed out more than once, most hunters are real animal lover too…so I guess it’s not really a conundrum after all.


  7. You’re an old softy at heart, Jeff.
    There’s a little red breasted nuthatch that’s a regular at my feeder, and he’s even bolder than the chickadees. He will fly around my head as I’m filling up the feeder, and eats out of my hand. Had chipmunks too. Of course they’re snoozing now. Hope they don’t freeze in their sleep.
    Good to chat with you, especially when you get warm and fuzzy about wildlife! 🙂

    1. red breasted nuthatch…man, shot a few of them in my day…hehe

      Just kidding of course..tks for stopping by and please do so anytime!

      I’ll have to tell Trapper you were here, he always had a softspot for Carol K.


  8. Outdoors Guy:

    I really enjoy your non hunting wildlife observation topics.

    I love to feed chickadees too. They are such wonderful little birds. I actually had one land on the barrel of my rifle while I was on a watch during hunting season. Chipmunks are another favourite of mine. We have them eating out of our hand every summer at the cottage. One summer, our little pet chipmunk decided he would like to come into the cottage. He explored all the bedrooms, jumped on all the beds, and then made his way back outside. We have to stop that practice now because we have a dog.

    I was also wondering what is going on with the grouse population. We saw very few this year.

  9. Grouse? I saw 2 flocks of 3 here in one day before the snow, maybe the same ones but they were pretty far apart so not sure. That is the most I have seen in one day since I was a kid because they just haven’t been numerous here in years. Not sure why but they don’t seem to be able to make a comeback. The one I usually chase around the bush all fall flies up 25 yards ahead of me, so not much chance of ever shooting one to eat. Let alone the fact I never see them when I carry the shotgun, so I just stopped lugging it around.

    Hunting mom – I have had a chickadee land on my gun, and another time on the brim of my hat once while on watches. Pretty cool! You can keep your chipmunks as there doesn’t seem to be any let up in that population lately. Rats with a fuzzy tail.

    Trapper – how many of the dump bandits do you want? Lots around here still. I have a rabies innoculation program I use when I see them around my place.

  10. Coon hunters have been saying all this year numbers are way down, they think distemper got them, lots of turkey and other birds will love the idea of them egg eaters not being around

    1. Funny you guys would mention a lack of coons…this summer it was polluted with them around my high as 8 together at my feeder at one time. Maybe this distemper outbreak hit in the fall??

      Or, perhaps it could be raccoon rabies taking off in Canada..with red foxes no longer carrying the disease, someone has to carry it and I know coon rabies had hit Canada in recent years.


      1. Interesting Rabies stats from Canada’s Public Health Agency(Sorry Chess, did my own research this time):

        Between 2006 and 2010, a total of 1005 cases of confirmed animal rabies were reported in Canada. Four provinces accounted for the majority of these cases: Ontario (35%), Manitoba (22%), Quebec (16%) and Saskatchewan (13%). North West Territories had 66 cases (6.5%), British Columbia 54 cases (5%), and Alberta 11 (11%). Nova Scotia reported 3 cases, New Brunswick 2 cases and Prince Edward Island 1 case. The Yukon and Newfoundland/Labrador had no reported cases of animal rabies.

        Over the same time period, skunks accounted for 37% of reported cases, followed by bats (33%), raccoons (9%) and foxes (6%). Dogs accounted for 4% and cats accounted for 2% of animal rabies cases. The species most commonly identified as having rabies by region, based on total numbers of positive test results, were as follows: foxes in the Northwest Territories/Nunavut (70%), skunks in Manitoba (75%) and Saskatchewan (70%), and bats in British Columbia (99%), Alberta (81%), Quebec (70% since 2008 when raccoon rabies was last detected) and Ontario (56%); In Ontario, the second most affected species was skunks (27%).


  11. This spring, sick raccoons have been observed over a broad geographic range in southern Ontario. Affected animals have been observed out during daylight hours, showing no fear of humans, and exhibiting a variety of neurological signs. As well, many have been observed with discharges from the nose and eyes.

    It is highly likely that these animals are infected with Canine Distemper Virus (CDV). This is by far the most common infectious disease in raccoons in southern Ontario, and large numbers of cases of it are diagnosed each year. The virus of CDV is shed by affected animals through several routes – nasal and ocular discharges, urine, and feces. Generally speaking, the virus is fragile in the environment and requires close contact in order to spread from an affected to a susceptible animal.

    Peak times of year for the disease appear to be both spring and fall. These are times of year when there is likely to be the most contact between animals. Also, there are likely to be large numbers of naïve animals present, as the previous summer’s young are on the move and attempting to establish themselves in new areas.

    This year, there have been reports of observations of sick raccoons all the way from Windsor to the Niagara Peninsula and north to Grey and Bruce counties. Not all of these geographic foci of disease have yet been confirmed by post-mortem examination of affected animals from each area. Nonetheless, given the pattern of disease and the clinical signs reported, CDV is the most likely diagnosis.

    The possibility that rabies may be present in these areas should not be completely dismissed. There are cases of raccoon rabies occurring on the American side of the Niagara River and raccoons do cross back and forth. It is important that the possibility of rabies be considered in the examination of raccoons from this area. Also, there is still a small amount of rabies activity in southwestern Ontario, north of Guelph and Kitchener-Waterloo, primarily in skunks. Although the disease has almost been eradicated in this area, it is necessary to rule it out in cases of neurological disease, particularly in skunks, from this area.

    1. OK Chess, I see that CDT is high during spring and you know know, maybe they did get a dose of that!


  12. @johan thats not a question for Jeff that question would better be directed at warner bros. they have made a fortune off of BUGGS Bunny over the years lol

    1. Oh man, you guys saying I could take this rabbit on the road??

      Yeah, with my luck Bionic Bunny would turn out like the singing bullfrog..hehe…only jumps when noone is around!

      “Hello my baby hello my honey…hello my ragtime gal…darlin my hearts on fire”


  13. Is your road name Jeff ” Arthur” Morrison or Jeff “Buster” Morrision . I think the first, we will now call you J.A.M for short … I knew that name rang a bell lololol

    1. hehe…ok Chessy, tks for explaining who those characters were…my kids never watched the “Arthur” show.

      What do you know, there actually was a cartoon character named Bionic Bunny..darn, and I thought I came up with that on my own.


      1. Carol K, if you’re still there….any elk out around your place this winter??


  14. In terms of grouse, I saw few on the hunting around here, but near North Bay and Blind River – I saw tons of them. The last 3 years have been polluted with them. I believe they’re on a 7 year cycle (supposedly?) so we’ll see if that continues. A few years ago, there weren’t many in those areas.

    1. Hey Keeb, were the ones in North Bay and up in Blind River ALL ruffed grouse or were a lot of them Spruce Grouse? I know across the river from NBay where we go fishing there seems to be a mix of the two..prob 70% ruffed and 30% spruce Id say.

      Of course the sprucies, we all figured, had a brain about half the size of the ruffed..they are usually so tame they’d hardly fly even when you walk up to them. We have them around our tent in the spring during trout season up there…one usually sits on the bank having a dirt nap while we play horse-shoes….silly bugger!


  15. morning jeff back to work after a two week break due to a surgery been getting good bites for pickerel and perch and yes the young lad that i knew was joey paquette from Almonte just 12 years old i took him out goose hunting with my buddy chris and his son up here in Almonte for goose hunts was a great kid loved to hunt and especially fish , he would get up at 3 am and start to get ready to go fishing up at chris’s cottage in foymount the family is going through hell but i have to say a huge thank you to cfra and cosmo at chez 106 for helping the family out this community is the best the husband ed still has a huge battle for his wife who is battling breast cancer but she is a fighter we are all praying for the best jeff have a great day

    1. Hey Mike welcome back..hope you’re up and running around. I thought perhaps that was you on Doc’s Blog…please pass along my condolences to the folks up in Almonte…very sad story indeed.


      1. 27-years ago today the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded in midair while the whole world was watching..I remember because it was the day I turned 19.

        some things you just never forget….


  16. what did you get for your birthday…don’t lie we know what you did not get seeing your so old lol

    1. ahhh man, the things you do for attention when you get older…hehe…what were we talking about anyway?


  17. Jeff your a fisherman and a hunter so we already know that she does not know how to measure cause you have lied to her all your adult life on what is a 10 inch …

    1. Ahhh man, I gotta let her read this!

      Oh and btw…this Thurs column is all ice fishing all the time! Till beginning of Feb when its all over..or maybe after tomorrow’s rain it’ll be done.


  18. there were some guys that almost went swimming today at the ganny, mind you they were fishing on the edge of the ice, kinda wish they went in they would have easily got out but it would make them think next time .. we have some stupid people around here .. pictures to prove it hehehehhehhe

  19. Should be lots of ice around now, i haven’t wet a line yet this winter but thinking of either Bay of Quinte or Bob’s lake at my cottage this weekend. Anyone here know any secrets to locating Whitefish? Apparently Bob’s is polluted with them but I don’t know the first thing about where to look first and as far as I know, no one much fishes them. A couple of open water shoals adjacent to deep water is likely where I will start. The only one I have seen in the lake was a floater in my bay in the spring but my bay doesn’t get much deeper than 50 feet so they likely wouldn’t live there year around.

    1. Hey johan..interesting that you have lake whitefish in Bob’s..never knew that. Not that I had loads of winter whitefish experience, but I did fish lakers and whites in Central ON when I was in College. We fished Simcoe on east side and another lake up there called Clear Lake. Wasn’t a lot of science to it…just down deep was the key just off bottom. We fished a slight saddle area between two points which was a known spot for greys and whites and we did pretty well.

      Williams ice spoons seemed to work..or small wablers tipped with a minnow and trailer hook. I think the key is knowing winter holding areas and where the deep lake holes are and focusing on that.

      Not sure if you’ve ever eaten whitefish but they’re darn good…fried or smoked…some great whitefish recipes featured(warning blatant self promotion) in the Canadian Fishing Cookbook…due out on local bookshelves June 1, 2013!!


  20. If I knew the winter holding areas I wouldn’t be here asking…. 😉
    According to fish surveys they were concerned there was an over population of whitefish and apparently they are hard on spawning walleye fry. I only fished them once and that was on Simcoe although that is more like snagging, You just drive out 10km to ‘where everyone else was”, put on a williams with oversized trebles and jig like crazy when the school comes through. Crazy to watch the thousands of people follow the school and if you have never fished Simcoe you likely wouldn’t believe it. Fish were good however they were all rather large and the smaller ones were definately better eating, and likely don’t glow in the dark. I have a couple of places I am going to start with and will let you know how it goes.

    1. ok johan ok, if you want me to come over to Bob’s Lake and catch them for you, I will..hehe..I guess thinking back now, we caught the odd whitefish
      really by accident while fishing for greys(lakers) I had better luck catching whitefish wayyy up in Northern QC in early season…caught a couple of biggies too, but again those were by accident too while fishing for early season brookies!


  21. Sure, Jeff, lots of room in the cottage, come on over. Wallies will be the main target and I have a decent handle on those and if they are biting at all we will get a few.

  22. The bill
    Robbescheuten’s bill breaks down as follows:
    Three fire trucks for two hours: $3,000.00
    One standby fire truck for 1.5 hours: $750.00
    Fifteen firefighters for two hours: $966.30
    Fourteen firefighters for 1.5 hours: $676.48

    Looking back now, even as fog and darkness enveloped him while he clung soaking wet to a tree trunk on the icy bank of Lake Scugog, Neil Robbescheuten would think twice before calling 911 if it all happened again.
    That’s because, after firefighters rescued him from an ice fishing excursion gone wrong on Jan. 13, Robbescheuten got a bill in the mail for $5,392.78.
    Robbescheuten, 62, is the first person billed by the Township of Scugog after the regional council recommended last March that the local fire department attempt to “recover costs” from people saved in ice and water rescues on Lake Scugog.
    Photos View gallery

    The invoice is labeled 001. At the bottom it reads: “Thank you for your business.”
    “I was almost ready for a heart attack,” said the retired school principal. “I think it’s horribly wrong.”
    Robbescheuten was given 30 days to pay up, but plans to contest the bill at Scugog council on March 4.
    “If I pay this bill, it’s telling them that I condone the process, and I don’t. I absolutely abhor it,” he said. “If they’re looking for money, there are lots of other ways.”
    Scugog Mayor Chuck Mercier denied the recommendation was made primarily for budget concerns. He said the aim is to discourage people from taking unnecessary risks on the lake, decisions that could put rescue workers in danger.
    “If I lost six firefighters on that foggy day, going out on Lake Scugog when the ice conditions were so treacherous, who would have cried then?
    “That day, no one should have been out on the ice.”
    Two days before Robbenscheuten’s mishap on the ice, the Kawartha Conservation warned residents to stay off frozen waterways, stating that “all local rivers, streams and lakes should be considered extremely dangerous.”
    But Robbescheuten, who has fished on Lake Scugog for 30 years, maintains he was safe until fog rolled in as darkness fell. He grew disoriented on his way back to shore, then fell through the ice and got stuck in mud and water up to his waist.
    He said he tore a ligament in his right knee as he scrambled out towards the shoreline, where he called 911 on his cellphone.
    Scugog fire chief Richard Miller, who wrote a report that led to the call for rescue bills, said the weather was warm and rainy in the days before Robbescheuten’s excursion.
    “No ice is safe ice,” he said. “The minute you step on the lake, that’s your choice … If people want to go out there, they’re on their own.”
    Robbescheuten believes that mentality will send the wrong message to people who find themselves in danger, regardless of whether they’ve been responsible on the lake.
    “When I taught kids at school, we always told them, ‘If you think you’re in danger, in life-threatening danger, you’re going to call 911,’” he said.

  23. “If we have 911 billing, it will discourage some people from calling, it will delay response times if they don’t call immediately, and we could get into all kinds of issues.”
    Richard Boyes, executive director of the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs , brushed off

  24. “I wouldn’t think that’s a deterrent at all,” he said of rescue billing. “Anyone that’s in an emergency situation, I highly doubt would be considering that.”
    He added that last March, the Township of Oro-Medonte billed 26 anglers roughly $200 each after they were rescued from an ice floe on Lake Simcoe.
    “A lot of these rescues, first of all they endanger the rescuers, and they incur a lot of costs,” said Boyes. “It’s becoming more of a trend.”

    1. Chessy, I bet you anything that his rescue bill stems from the ‘pressure crack’ incident on Lake Simcoe many years ago..or the ‘ice drift’ incident on Lake Erie not so many years ago.

      Millions of dollars were spent in these two ice fishing rescues alone..and I guess they are tired of paying for manpower and resources because of utter stupidity…(Most of the time)

      Let’s just say that both of these situations would have been avoided had folks used some common sense. As in the case of Lake Simcoe..they actually used a ladder to climb across the large pressure crack!

      Now does sound smart to you? Anyhow, I feel badly for Mr Robbescheuten..but I guess they are making an example of folks who make poor decisions. In his case, however, sounds like he was less at fault than some.


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