Maybe you have lots of rabbits hopping through your yard, or maybe you’re just wondering how to spot a rabbit’s nest. They can be hard to find — unless you know what you’re looking for!
That’s where we come in. We’re here to show you what a rabbit nest looks like and what you should do if you find one. That way, you can check your lawn for nests and avoid disturbing any baby bunnies. Many people think of them as country animals, but rabbits often build their nests in residential and suburban areas — possibly even in your backyard!
How Do You Recognize a Rabbit Nest?
So what should you look for? Rabbit nests often look like patches of dead grass. If you see straw-colored patches in your grass, listen and watch for movement. You may also find leaves on top of the nest or even tell-tale traces of rabbit fur.
To build her nest, the mother rabbit digs a small hole in the ground and covers it with leaves and grass. The babies are just below that plant covering — not especially well protected from you or your lawnmower.
How To Find a Rabbit Nest
Whether you’re trying to avoid mowing a rabbit nest when cutting your lawn or are just curious when out taking a stroll in the woods, learning how to find and identify a rabbit nest helps you avoid accidents and disturbing baby bunnies when out and about.
One of the most important things to remember when looking out for nests is that a calm, quiet approach is best as we don’t want to stress the rabbits out. Take light steps, keep your voice low, and keep pets away from the area. If you’re out walking with your dog, avoid letting your dog near the rabbit nest as they have a tendency to sniff and dig new, interesting spots.
Rabbit nests aren’t the easiest to find as they’re typically very well-concealed, despite being dug out in open spaces, so it takes a sharp eye to spot one. They’re basically shallow holes in the ground covered by leaves, grass, and/or fur to keep the babies out of sight of predators.
The grass may appear dry and brown, so a rabbit nest on your lawn could present as a discolored patch. You’re more likely to spot a rabbit nest in nesting season, which falls between March and September.
If you do happen upon a rabbit’s nest, you’re unlikely to see the mother or the babies. The mother leaves the nest to keep her babies safe from predators who may pick up on her scent. As for the babies, they don’t leave their nest until they’re about 2 weeks old and would likely be too frightened to do so if they sensed your presence.
Checking your lawn before mowing or raking and keeping an eye out for nests when walking in open, grassy spaces is highly recommended as it helps keep rabbits safe.
What Should You Do If You Find a Rabbit Nest?
If you do find a rabbit’s nest, the best thing you can do is stay away from it. Mow around the nest, tell your family members to be careful, and keep your pets away.
The biggest thing to avoid? Moving the nest. If you move the babies, you risk hurting or traumatizing them, not to mention separating them from their mother. Mother rabbits typically don’t spend much time in the nest — but that doesn’t mean they’ve abandoned their babies! They return multiple times a day to feed and tend to the young ones.
Next on your reading list: How Long Are Rabbits Pregnant? (Gestation Periods)
Still Have Questions?
Don’t take matters into your own hands. If you’re unsure about the health and safety of rabbits, you’ll probably want to seek professional advice.
Featured Image Credit: Jerry Morse, Shutterstock