OHIO – Spring is in the air and along with growing grass use caution as some babies are being cared for in your lawn.
Eastern Cottontail Rabbit is one of the most common wildlife species in Ohio, commonly found everywhere. You see these rabbits in fields and wood areas, but you also see them in neighborhoods and backyards. This species of rabbit is indigenous to Ohio and are a prolific breeder. One pair of rabbits could produce 350,000 offspring in five years! This is mostly because rabbits usually only live a year simply because they are a common food source for a lot of predators.
Breeding season has already started and young are born in early March to late September, usually, momma has about 2-7 baby bunnies, and sometimes she nests on your lawn. Usually, the mom will dig a small shallow nest of about four inches deep and birth her babies. As long as mom has a good food source around she will nest. Babies start off with their fur and are blind, they slowly grow hair and start to see in a week or two. Mom doesn’t stay with the nest though she’s busy finding food and only comes back to feed, so it’s easy to walk upon a nest of babies.
So if you come across a small hole on the ground in the middle of your yard with some dead vegetation around it, it could contain some baby bunnies but don’t worry mom will come back to them so don’t move them.
If your dog has possibly got into the nest and removed a baby or two checks the status of the babies and if they are ok return them to the nest. Mom won’t return to the nest until you and other predators are gone. Mark the nest with a flag so you avoid it with the lawnmower it won’t take long before the little ones are grown and gone and you can have your yard back.