A Cottontail but Eastern? New England?

Ever since I read, and wrote, about the declining population of New England cottontails, I’ve been wondering if the rabbits in the fields out back are the native New Englanders, or their invading cousins, the eastern cottontails.

I still don’t know. I took this picture of one in my back yard earlier this afternoon. I’ve consulted a few sources, but haven’t been able to identify it one way or another.

I’ll continue to nurse the hope that it’s a native New Englander, while I keep researching until I prove otherwise.

Either way, I’m happy to know that it seems to have taken up residence in the brush behind my house.