Rabbit breeding season runs from late March through September, a good portion of the year! During this time, rabbits with new offspring will make ground nests to protect their young. These nests are commonly found in yards and gardens, and the baby rabbits can be injured if their nest is run over during mowing. Here are some tips on how to check for ground nests before mowing your lawn, so that your local rabbits can grow up healthy and happy!
- Rabbit nests look like a small patch of dead grass; sometimes there is a distinctive hole into the nest, and other times it is a simple grass covering over the rabbits. Walk the path of your mower before starting the machine. If you find a nest, you can carefully pull up the dead grass, and if it is a nest, it will reveal a small cavity in the ground with rabbits inside.
- If you discover a rabbit nest, you should leave it and its inhabitants alone. Mow around the nest in a 10 ft radius. Rabbits are prone to stress and can even die if they become too stressed, so do not attempt to move the rabbits or play with them.
- If the rabbits have accidentally been mowed over, or if you see a clearly injured rabbit within the nest, contact your local wildlife rehabilitation center. Please do not attempt to stabilize it or give it food without specific instructions from your rehabilitator.
Here are some reference images of rabbit ground nests for you to compare to your yard. Happy Summer!