Mother Nature typically knows best, but here's how to tell if baby bunnies need your help.

Spring is Here and so Are Baby Bunnies

It's the time of year when the weather is warming up and animals are starting to come out of their winter homes. Rabbits don't hibernate, but like many animals, we don't tend to see them as much during the cold months.  However, in the springtime rabbits not only become more noticeable, but they are also having all kinds of babies.

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We typically get a rabbit nest under our yard barn every year, and in the spring I have to be more diligent about when I let my dogs out.  I'm always afraid one of my dogs will get one of the baby bunnies, so I always go outside and run them off if they're out from under the barn and I need to let my dogs out.  Sometimes I look like a total ding dong in my backyard going "hi bunny, go back under the barn, shoo shoo!" But I feel like other dog owners will understand.

While getting baby bunnies in your yard isn't uncommon, what should you do if you find a nest?  How do you know if that nest needs help?

Photo by Adam Nir on Unsplash
Photo by Adam Nir on Unsplash
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Mother [Nature] Knows Best

It can be easy to see a nest of baby bunnies and instantly have the urge to "help" them.  They are these adorable, tiny, helpless animals, and you may see them and think "Wait where is the mom?"  But the mom is probably not too far off.  According to Indiana DNR, Rabbits typically don't come back to the nest very often but maybe twice a day to check on the babies.  So don't be alarmed if you see a nest of baby bunnies and no mom around. Many times mom is trying to steer clear of her nest because she doesn't want to draw attention to it from potential predators.

Most of the time that you come across a nest, the babies are just fine and you should leave it alone.  However, if the nest is in your yard and you have pets you will want to make sure your pets don't disturb the nest.  This will keep the babies safe from your pets, and your pets safe from any potential illnesses the wild animals could have.

Photo by Paras Kapoor on Unsplash
Photo by Paras Kapoor on Unsplash
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How to Tell if Intervention is Needed

Many times human intervention with wildlife can do more harm than good.  This is especially true for rabbits. So how do you know if a nest or a baby bunny requires help?

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According to Rabbit.org if you notice the nest is flooded with water or has bugs/ants visibly crawling in and out or if a baby has been killed and there is blood in the nest, they say you should immediately contact a wildlife rehabber or rabbit vet. If a nest has been disturbed they say to place the baby bunnies back in the nest, as contrary to popular belief the mother will still care for the babies even if they have human scent on them.  Rabbit.org is a great resource for what to do if you come across a nest of babies that you're concerned about, you can find more of their tips, here. 

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Gallery Credit: Katherine Gallagher