Austin Area Wildlife Rehabilitation, Inc.

Rescue - Rabbits

Cottontail rabbits make their nest in small depressions in the grass. Their nests are lined with fur from the mother and are loosely covered with grass. Dogs, cats, people and lawn mowers sometimes disturb these nests. If babies have been removed from a nest and are uninjured, place them back in the nest. Mother cottontails only come to feed their young early in the morning and at dusk. This behavior pattern decreases the chance of alerting predators to the nest location.

  If you are not sure the mother is feeding her babies, try placing at least two long, crossed strings over the nest. If the strings have not been moved by the following morning, she has not been back and the babies need to be taken to a rehabilitator.

Please remember the mother will not approach the nest if you are nearby, so resist the temptation to watch. As is true with all wildlife, these babies are very difficult to successfully rehabilitate and the mother will give these babies their best chance at life.

If you find a baby cottontail that is about five inches long, or the size of a tennis ball, this rabbit is totally on its own and its mother is no longer caring for it. These rabbits do not need to be brought in unless they are injured. If you have to chase an uninjured rabbit to catch it, the rabbit does not need to be rescued. Please email if you find an injured rabbit.

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