A Nest of Eastern Cottontails

Axl found a nest of Eastern Cottontails hidden amongst the blades of liriope and ivy in our backyard a few days ago. He snatched up one of the kits and went running with it.

Trust me when I say – you do not want to hear a baby bunny screaming. They produce heart-wrenching cries.

But Axl’s training really paid off. He dropped the kit at my feet as commanded. And Brandon got him in the house while I tended to the little bundle of fluff.

I carefully examined the trembling bunny in my hands and marveled at Axl’s gentleness. A faint scratch marred the baby rabbit’s ear, but otherwise, it was unharmed.

Phone calls were made to the vet and a local rabbit rescue. They gave us guidance on how to best care for the kit. Under their advisement, I placed the bunny in a box with some wash rags to keep it warm. Then, we embarked on a search for the nest.

Eastern Cottontails dig depressions in the ground to build their nests. They fill them with leaves and fur.

After the kits are born, the mama leaves her babies alone in the burrow to prevent drawing the attention of predators. She returns to tend to her little ones at dusk and dawn.

It took us about an hour, but we eventually tracked down the nest. We put the baby back inside, where it quickly cuddled up with the other kits.

Over the next few days, we monitored the dogs more closely. And, of course, kept an eye on the kits, who continued to wiggle and grow.

As soon as we settled into the routine, we woke up Monday morning to discover five little Eastern Cottontails emerging from their nest.

Before I could pick out the one I saved from certain death, they darted across the yard in different directions with their signature white tails flashing in the sun.

Leave a Comment