Baby jackrabbit.

We have an…erm…flourishing population of white-tailed jackrabbits (Lepus townsendii) around here this spring and with their clearly discerning tastes, they would far rather munch on the free buffets everyone’s gardens than the gazillion luscious dandelions popping out of the lawns.  The adult rabbits are big, too – much larger* than a housecat and many dog breeds, and they have this steely look in their eyes that suggests you don’t want to mess with them when they’re chowing down on your tulips.  They’re so used to people that they barely blink when you try to shoo them away – sometimes you really have to make a fuss to get them to run.

This little one is going to be a problem one day, but for now, he’s the cutest thing in the neighbourhood.  Our landlady hasn’t planted up the boxes in the doorway at the back of our building just yet, so he’s taken to snoozing in one, casually pretending that no one sees him when they enter and exit. I guess having his back to the bricks makes him feel very secure.  He certainly didn’t move a muscle when I took a photo over the stair rail a few evenings ago.   I just can’t get over how long his legs are compared to his body size – he’s going to be one huge bunny.


*In Wayne Lynch’s article “More Than Fluff: The Curious Behaviours of Rabbits and Hares” in the Spring/Summer 2012 edition of Alberta Conservation, he writes that white-tailed jackrabbits can reach a hefty 3.5 kilograms.

Are rabbits a problem in your garden?  What have you done to try to deter them?


  1. Oh my goodness, those legs are ENORMOUS in comparison to his body! I can’t imagine how awkward hopping around must be! He sure is a cutey, though; I have a feeling I’d plant a special garden just for him to munch on. 🙂

    • That might not be a bad idea! I should try that. 🙂 I have to laugh: one of my co-workers leaves fresh carrots and lettuce on her driveway for the rabbits, but she says they still go in the garden anyway. I think they like the plants that are actually growing in the soil – they’re better tasting!

  2. Oh dear, the little jackrabbit is too cute. I don’t have a rabbit problem in my garden or in my are but rabbits are a problem in the NZ countryside.

    • LOL I do my best to give him a balanced diet, that’s for sure! 🙂 Sometimes it’s so frustrating but then you get to watching them and observing how interesting they are and you just can’t remain upset.

  3. Oh my goodness, they are a HUGE problem in mine, but sadly my dog found a nest and,well you know the rest. She did it two times + I would of thought she would of moved the nest, but she did not:-( I have learned to work around the critters, I did plant some clover as a cover crop so they might eat it:-) They are the worst in the spring, but most of my stuff does grow back:-)

    • That’s a great idea to plant a cover crop! I agree, they do their worst in the spring – I can sympathize a bit, they’re really hungry for fresh food. And you’re right, most of the munched flowers grow back…I had a flat of gazanias a few years back that never recovered, however – and I had just planted them out!

  4. No rabbits in my garden. I spent a couple of years building a critter-proof fence, five feet high of horse fence with electric wire on top, then rabbit fence about 1 1/2 feet high around the bottom with the underside extending 2 feet under the soil and coming out in an L shape to prevent digging under. Inside the garden are raised beds with more electric wire around each one and chicken wire too to keep the chipmunks at bay. Overkill, I know, but I got really tired of losing all my veggies to critters that could just as well eat elsewhere, as they did before I started planting anything. It works.

  5. That rabbit is so cute, we don’t see too many rabbits here because we have foxes in the neighborhood.

  6. Great photo! I have dogs and no rabbits. Of course, dogs come with their own brand of difficulties. And they may not be as cute as your rabbit, but the dogs are overwhelmingly lovable!

  7. I suppose having dogs deters them, although we don’t have rabbits, only hares. I saw a huge pair munching in the meadow beyond our garden the other day, but they have never paid us a visit. Thank goodness! Hope yours find pastures new, preferably a fair distance from your allotment!

  8. I know they can just destroy plants and are often unwelcome invaders, but they would be fund to observe! We don’t have any rabbits or hares in our gardens and perhaps if we did I’d have a very different opinion of them, but I find your little guy very cute! 🙂

    • They really are delightful to watch – especially the babies. Unfortunately, the population is getting a bit out of control and they’re doing so much damage. It’s amazing how adaptable they are to urban life.

  9. We sure did have a lot around in the spring. One day I came round a corner in the park here, smack downtown, and there were 5 I counted, all munching on the lawn. All of a sudden, they’re all gone. I thing the City of Edmonton has done something diabolical.

    • Hmmmm…I wonder if they have a “program” in place. I know there used to be a ton of them on the U of A’s campus, years ago – I wonder if they’re still hanging around there? We’re absolutely overrun with them here this year – I’m surprised, given the harsh winter conditions.

  10. I’ ve heard about Jack rabbits but never really knew what they are. I even thought it was a name you gave to rabbits. Like Bill Badger! So thank’ s for the picture. Goodness we have enough trouble with ordinary rabbits so I can’ t imagine what it’ s like having these monsters. Still the baby is cute.

    • We have three types of rabbits and hares here in Alberta – the white-tailed jackrabbit is actually a hare, just to be confusing! 🙂 We also have the snowshoe hare, which is a bit smaller, and the cute little cottontails, which tend to hang out near the mountains. I couldn’t believe the size of the jackrabbits when we moved here from the north (where they’re not so common) – they’re simply gigantic! No wonder they eat so much!

  11. I’m amazed at how relaxed they are around people–the bunnies we see here are very skittish. It’s hard to hate a baby animal–we have had baby skunks following their mom across our lawn and they are adorable!

  12. Grrrrrr…. bunnies and pigeons, bane of the garden! We have fenced our garden as best we can against rabbits and run out waving our arms like crazy people when we see pigeons (we also net as we can’t be running and waving 24/7!!!)

  13. Sheryl, I’m so glad you posted this … I can’t see a rabbit without thinking of destruction to flowers / plants. The previous comment made me smile “A monster waiting to pounce” indeed!

  14. That is cutest photo of the cutest jackrabbit baby! In Canada we had lots of rabbits enjoying our vegetable garden…until one summer we had the prettiest fox-mom with her adorable fox-kitten, enjoying the free buffet of rabbits….our harvest was enormous that year;0)

    • Foxes are definitely the perfect solution to a rabbit pest problem! Plus, they’re such magnificent creatures – you’re lucky to have seen the Mum and her little one. I’ve only seen foxes on a couple of occasions, and never a baby.

  15. I adore rabbits and this guy is no exception. Those legs though!! wow. Lucky for me rabbits aren’t a problem so I can look at them and see just a cute bunny. I’m sure if they were into my garden it would be a whole other matter.

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