cottontail rabbit behavior

If appearance alone doesn’t clear up any doubt, behavior will seal the deal. When a doe cottontail is ready to give birth, she finds a convenient hole or rock crevice, or digs a shallow “scrape” (four inches or less in depth) in dry ground. Teeth grinding: The sound of a rabbit grinding its teeth is nearly unmistakable. They have a very high reproductive rate (1 to 5 in a litter 26-30 days after mating), a necessity as they are prey for a wide variety of carnivores. ... A cottontail generally will hop from place to place, but it can put on a burst of speed and dodge quickly when fleeing a predator. Eastern Cottontail Rabbit. August 27, 2020. Cottontail rabbits are called that because the underside of their tails -- which curls up against the lower back -- is white, just like a small piece of cotton. Cottontails are solitary creatures, active mostly between dusk and dawn. From mid-September to the end of October, the change to longer, grayer pelage occurs for winter. Their ears can grow to 4 inches (10 cm). Temperament/Behavior. The desert cottontail does not build its own den, although it may scratch a depression under a bush or other vegetation. PART OF WILD SKY MEDIA | FAMILY & PARENTING, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection: Cottontail Rabbits, How to Make the Ultimate Obstacle Course for Rabbits. Massachusetts is home to two species of rabbit, the New England cottontail (Sylvilagus transitionalis) and the eastern cottontail (S. floridanus). Generally silent, rabbits may communicate by soft grunts and purrs and by thumping the ground with the hind feet. Before giving birth, a mother cottontail makes a nest by digging a depression in the ground about 5 inches wide and 4 inches deep. Subscribe to our e-news for the latest events, updates and info. Due to their size and inability to defend themselves, many young rabbits are taken by prey when they are mere months old. Eastern Cottontail 7. The repeated passage through the rabbit’s gut allows time for bacterial digestion to continue, and more nutrients become available for absorption. Its feeding behavior is somewhat different from other cottontails; it has a unique capability of jumping up on the trees to have its diet. Dice’s Cottontail 4. It also has distinctive large eyes for its size. Shape The World. Sexually promiscuous and forming no lasting pair bond, Massachusetts cottontails may mate as early as mid-February and as late as September. This parental schedule explains why human observers often assume that rabbit nests have been abandoned. To try and stay alive, cottontail rabbits learn early on how to hide and burrow effectively -- under bushes, in tunnels or any cavities. When the rabbit defecates, some of its fecal pellets are green and moist and contain undigested food. Cottontail rabbits spend the majority of their life trying to hide from swooping predators. The oldest complete rabbit fossil, found in 2008 in India, dates back 53 million years to the Eocene Epoch. The eastern cottontails is solitary and very territorial. Empower Her. The native wild New England cottontail, probably as a consequence of this competition, has become rare throughout the region. Although sometimes considered a pest by farmers, they are quite adaptable and will move on to live in a more suitable area if no food is available where they are. The sleeping patterns of wild rabbits differs somewhat from their domestic cousins, especially in the summer months. The average Massachusetts cottontail spends its entire life in an area of less than an acre and a half, although in the winter it may move a mile or so from its summer feeding area in order to obtain better cover or a new food supply. While rabbits generally steer clear of people, they can damage gardens. According to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, most rabbits live in an area that's about 9 acres in size. Foxes, weasels, raccoons, minks, snakes, crows, and several common species of hawks and owls, are all at least partially dependent on cottontails for food. Once establised, the hierarchy was continuously reinforced by the dominant animal. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College. It’s so un… In the vegetable garden, their favorites include lettuce, beans, and beets, and they also enjoy strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries. It was a rabbit that hopped and was very similar to those of today, but with smaller ears and a longer tail. © 2020 WILD SKY MEDIA. For Rabbit Rescuers and Shelters (43) For the Kids (5) Gifts and Supplies (13) House Rabbit Journal (270) House Rabbits 101 (21) Just for Fun (21) Life with a House Rabbit (46) Links (13) News (183) Pet Loss Support (12) Rabbit Behavior (94) Aggression and Age-Related Behavior (11) Litter Training (1) Multiple Rabbits (33) Rabbit Personality (34) The eastern cottontail differs only slightly, with a paler coat, a cinnamon-rust nape, and a narrow black margin extending along the front edge and tip of the ear. Coprophagy, or the ingestion of feces, plays a role in rabbit nutrition. Cottontails are solitary creatures, active mostly between dusk and dawn. Their best method of defense is their ability to remain unseen. Behavior Cottontail rabbits are hunted by many predators, so they only live two to three years in the wild. Blue Eastern Cottontail Pee next to Rabbit Scat: 4. The desert cottontail is most active in the early morning and in the evening. Donations to Mass Audubon are tax-deductible to the full extent provided by law. Differences Between Cottontail Rabbits and Snowshoe Hares. She might seek a site with brushy cover, but it’s not unusual to find a nest in the middle of a suburban lawn. Newborn cottontails are two inches long, weigh less than one ounce, and are naked, blind, and deaf—therefore totally helpless. Another interesting fact is that cottontail rabbits tend to have a quite small home range. To eat tender young shoots—clover, dandelions, prized tulips—and they may also ornamental. To continue, and are naked, blind, and deaf—therefore totally helpless the can! At their favorite people the age of adulthood rabbits spend the majority of their life trying to hide predators! Or shrubby cover by many predators, so they only live two three. Inability to defend themselves, many young rabbits are extremely skittish and won ’ t reach full size about! 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