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Thumper considers a late lunch in the Back Bay

Bunny in the Back Bay

Beancounter spotted this bunny on Marlborough Street today.

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Comments

they're cute but we are experiencing a plague of rabbits and we need foxes and hawks to control them

the rabbits killed a beautiful fragrance garden that has existed on Aggasiz since the time of Olmsted, who planted it for the delight of Boston's human population

please don't feed or welcome the bunnies

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Really? Because they ate a flower garden? Two or three rabbits could probably do that. You might forgive them for eating without considering the delight of the human population; after all, they were here before Olmstead was.

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If its an New England Cottontail then, yes, they were here before Olmstead, but if its an Eastern Cottontail (which it seems to be) they came along after 1900 (according to Mass Audubon) and displaced the native New England Buns. Both are indeed adorable but have been known to carry a nasty disease (tularemia).

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On what do you base this judgement?

The two species look nearly identical, and can only be reliably distinguished by genetic testing of tissue, through fecal samples (i.e., of rabbit pellets), or by an examination of the rabbits' skulls...

If it is a NE Cottontail,

Because of this decrease in this species' numbers and habitat, the New England cottontail is a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act.

To bring this full circle,

The major factor in the decline of the New England cottontail population and the restriction of its range is habitat destruction from the reduced thicket habitat.

If Olmstead cleared out some thickets for his fragrance garden, the rabbits' eating said garden is a sort of payback.

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It's almost certainly Sylvilagus floridanus, the eastern cottontail. The New England cottontail, S. transitionalis, is secretive and prefers thick underbrush, preferably 20 acres or more of it. It is therefore rarely encountered, whether by hunters, casual observers, or as roadkill. That's why the easterns were introduced: to give hunters something to shoot.

The eastern cottontail is bold and opportunistic; I saw one in Harvard Yard on Monday, just outside Massachusetts Hall, where Harvard President Drew Faust has her office.

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Ask your local wildlife biologist - this has been building up for some time.

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Any other species bothering you today that you'd prefer to see wiped off the face of the earth for inconveniencing you?

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"I don't like the gannet; they wet their nests."

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Oh, go survey quantities with Ethel the Aardvark.

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Sweet bunny and photo.

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So many rabbits this year! Saw four different ones in various parts of Cambridge yesterday. (Unless it was really all the same one, following me around.)

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TONS of rabbits live on Harvard's Business School campus. I used to live in Allston and when I'd walk up North Harvard / JFK street I'd see tons of them in the lovely manicured lawns of the business school.

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I LOVE this photo. Nicely done, beancounter!

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I'll take it - all of it. Tasty rabbit! Mmmmm! My favorite - great in a can, but even better fresh and raw! I love eating the heads first. Mom gets upset when she finds quartets of unlucky rabbit feet on the patio, but I just show her where I found it in her garden and then she's okay.

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