Was this rabbit nest predated or simply moved by mother?

Asked May 8, 2018, 8:29 AM EDT

Last Tuesday, a doe rabbit I'd been watching through my screen door gave birth in a nest she built in my backyard. (I did not interfere at all, except to see her come and go occasionally in the days afterward.) Then on Saturday evening, when the kits were five days old, I saw two of them completely exposed in my yard, about nine feet from the nest. The mother was nowhere to be seen. I gently moved the kits back into the nest and covered them lightly with the grass material present. In the morning, I felt compelled to check the nest, and it was completely empty--no kits. There was no sign of carnage, but I feared the worst. Is is possible that the mother rabbit moved the kits to another nest? Or is that not something that is done? I would be so grateful for a firm answer on this. I can't find anything about this phenomenon on any of the nature sites I've checked. Thank you so much.

New Castle County Delaware

1 Response

While there is no way to know for sure, if all the kits were missing, the mother may have moved them to a new nest since her original nest was disturbed. The kits should be Ok on their own once they are about the size of a baseball or are 3 - 5 weeks old.