Boston bunnies explained

Curious about those Cottontails? Hop in and learn about these Boston bunnies.

An eastern cottontail in the grass.

You’ll spot these Eastern Cottontails moving quickly in the city.

Photo via Wikimedia

If you’ve spent any time around Boston, chances are you’ve spotted a bunny or two bouncing around the city. Did you know that Massachusetts is home to two species of wild rabbit? Both can be found in our city from spring though early fall.

With Easter right around the corner, we’ll hop right into all the furry details.

🥕 The native New England Cottontail (Sylvilagus transitionalis) — a very rare species in our region, despite the name. These can be identified by their darker back and black spots between the ears.

🥕 The non-native Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) — introduced before the 1900s, this species is now the most common rabbit in the Bay State. The non-native rabbits have a lighter coat and white or light brown spots on their foreheads.

If you spot a bunny in your yard or neighborhood, it likely won’t be there very long. The typical lifespan of these jumpy residents is about one and half years + they are herbivores, which means they snack on local grasses, weeds, fruits, dandelions, and garden flowers.

It’s common for local homeowners find a nest around the yard. If a nest is discovered, the best practice is to leave it be. Young rabbits will leave the nest after about two weeks and if nests are moved, chances are the mother won’t be able to relocate it.

If you find an injured cottontail, contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

Share these fun facts with some bunny + keep an eye out for cottontails around the Emerald Necklace and in Cambridge.

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