If you live in the suburbs or a rural area, there is a good chance that rabbits appear from time to time in your backyard. However, since four species of rabbits live in Georgia, which species of rabbit inhabits your yard? If I had to guess, I would say it is the eastern cottontail. Here’s why.
The Appalachian cottontail, eastern cottontail, marsh rabbit and swamp rabbit all occur in the state. However, the rabbit most often seen in Georgia backyards is the eastern cottontail.
Eastern cottontails are 14-17 inches long and can weigh from two to four pounds. One of the easiest ways to identify it is to look at the color of the nape of its neck. The eastern cottontail has a cinnamon-colored nape. None of the other species of rabbits that inhabit the state displays this characteristic.
Although I do not know of anybody that hosts a marsh rabbit or Appalachian cottontail, I know a couple that feeds swamp rabbits in their yard. The swamp rabbit is our largest rabbit (3.5-6 pounds).
The marsh rabbit is our smallest rabbit. This rabbit weighs only 2.5-3 pounds. It lives in in the Coastal Plain and prefers marshy areas, wet bottomlands, and swamps.
The Appalachian cottontail is our rarest rabbit. This is because its range extends only into extreme Northeast Georgia.