These pear-shaped burrows are lined with dried grasses and filled with rabbit fur in anticipation of baby cottontails. Cottontail rabbits also prefer young deciduous forests. Unfortunately, the cottontail bunny is a wild animal that remains feral rather than growing tame. If cornered by a small predator, like a weasel, a cottontail may "bowl over" the predator and give it a kick with its powerful hind legs as well. Other habitats for the cottontail rabbit include edge environments along swamps and marshes. Cottontail rabbits are herbivores, eating different plants based on the season and the environment. The cottontail bunny eats plants, is most active at dusk and dawn, and provides a major link in food webs. When temperatures climb above eighty degrees Fahrenheit, the cottontails’ activity level decreases significantly. Did you know that female desert cottontail rabbits can give birth to their kittens even when they’re just 80 days old! The desert cottontail is quite similar in appearance to the European rabbit, though its ears are larger and are more often carried erect. The cottontail bunny possesses disproportionately large brown eyes ringed by white … When a rabbit raises its tail, the large white patch of fur on the bottom is exposed, serving as a warning signal to other cottontails. The eastern cottontail is most commonly found rabbit in North Texas. The doe cottontail may breed the same day the litter is born and may repeat the young rearing process three or four times during the breeding season. The mother cottontail bunny leaves them so she can forage but remains nearby to watch for predators. High quality Cottontail Women's dresses designed by independent artists. It has big eyes; a puffy, round tail; and long, wide ears with a little fur in them. While … As they mature, desert cottontails tend away from social burrow networks, which is common among many other rabbit breeds. The mother returns to the den site to feed her young. Cottontails can breed at eighty days old, then mate again soon after giving birth. Order: Lagomorpha. Like all cottontail rabbits, the desert cottontail has a rounded tail with white fur on the underside, which is visible as it runs away. The female desert cottontail is usually a little larger than the male. The desert cottontail (Sylvilagus audubonii), also known as Audubon's cottontail, is a New World cottontail rabbit, and a member of the family Leporidae. Cottontail rabbits cannot be tamed. New England Cottontail 10. In the hot months of summer, they conserve moisture and energy by avoiding activity during the hot, dry daylight hours. Since grass is difficult to digest, the rabbits eat the first-formed set of pellets after a meal. Desert cottontails rarely stray far from their natal or birthplace area. They leave the nest when they are two weeks old. They have large eyes and hind feet, b… When cottontail rabbit populations grow high, their natural predators will take advantage and hunt them instead of taking farm animals. The Dessert Cottontail (scientific name Sylvilagus audubonii), which is also frequently known as Audobon’s Cottontail, is found throughout much of North America, being specifically common in Baja California (Mexico, Central Nevada, and Western Texas. February 5, 2016 Information. For these reasons, it is unwise to attempt to try making a pet of a cottontail rabbit. Family Leporidae - Rabbits and hares The most common desert cottontail material is glass. In the American Southwest, Native Americans hunted or trapped cottontails for meat, sewed the furs into blankets, used the hide to make glue, and used individual hides to make pouches. Eastern cottontail rabbits are mammals that belong to the Leporidae family of rabbits and hares. My baby cottontail is maybe a week old. Cottontails are coprophagic, meaning they eat their own feces. March Rabbit 3. However, they grow rapidly, and within a week they open their eyes and grow fur. Some cottontail bunnies have stars, or blazes, which are white shapes on their foreheads. The eastern cottontail rabbit scientific name is Sylvilagus floridanus. Cottontail babies (true rabbits) are born blind, naked, and helpless; but jackrabbit young (like all young of true hares) are born furred and with their eyes open; they can move around just a few hours after birth. A rabbit that is … Cottontail rabbits provide a major link in their food chain. Desert Cottontail 5. Females tend to manage smaller ranges. The cottontail's tail functions as an alarm signal. Its abdomen may be white or pale gray. The young are weaned at two weeks old, and they leave the nest area three weeks after birth. Mother rabbits bathe their newborns and place them in a nest, which is an indentation lined with grass, leaves and the mother’s own fur. The word is from the Latin word "fenestra," meaning "window.". Cottontail rabbits are polygynous, meaning one male may mate with several females. She may bear twenty to thirty young in four to five litters. The adult desert cottontail is light colored, tan to gray, with a yellowish tinge. Cottontail rabbits are tiny little things, ranging in size from 15.5 to 18.75 inches, and weighing as little as 28 ounces -- although boys can weigh as much as 54 ounces. Cottontail rabbit fecal matter resembles small pellets, and occasionally rabbits will eat their own feces in order to gain additional nutrition missed in their initial digestion. Unlike the European rabbit, they do not form social burrow systems, but compared with some other leporids, they are extremely tolerant of other individuals in their vicinity. Cottontail rabbits favor habitats offering some cover to provide protection from the eyes of predators. The cottontail bunny possesses disproportionately large brown eyes ringed by white or cream-colored fur. Cottontail rabbits are more active in the evening or at dawn. Found up to six thousand five hundred feet in elevation. In winter, their fur grows in length and becomes grayer in tone. The North American Deserts Desert Cottontail and Jack Rabbits Video Desert cottontails occur in a wide variety of habitats, including dry desertlike grasslands and shrublands, riparian areas and pinyon-juniper forests. Desert Cottontail Rabbits - May 20, 2009 Jeff Schalau, Associate Agent, Agriculture & Natural Resources University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Yavapai County. Tr… As early as February, breeding season begins for cottontail rabbits. A normal litter has two to six young, which are born blind, furless and unable to care for themselves (altrical). The most popular color? Young rabbits are born aboveground or in shallow burrows and are completely helpless. To avoid overheating, desert cottontails have higher activity periods at night; light-colored fur to minimize absorption of solar heat; and large ears, with blood vessels just below the skin level, that can radiate body heat to the air. Females are larger than the males. After giving birth, female cottontail Is again ready to mate. A healthy cottontail rabbit population leads to a robust food chain. They begin to forage beyond their nest at two weeks of age. It is a light gray-brown in color, with almost white fur on the belly. Additional nutrition is extracted during the second digestive process. Cottontail rabbits may use an evasive zig-zag pattern as they run. These rabbits consume fallen fruits such as apples, or fallen corn, in autumn. Some interesting facts about the mammal desert cottontail rabbit, have been presented in this article. The cottontail bunny weighs from 2 to just over 3 pounds. Cottontail rabbits follow a solitary lifestyle and maintain territories from a few acres to as many as a hundred acres. ), The Desert Environment They venture into meadows, fields and yards to forage. A cottontail bunny normally moves about in hops, but if frightened, it will either freeze in place or run as fast as 18 miles per hour to try to escape predators. Females tend to be larger than males. This aids in their protection from predators. After the babies are delivered in the nest, the mother will only feed her babies once a year. J. Dianne Dotson is a science writer with a degree in zoology/ecology and evolutionary biology. There are 240 desert cottontail for sale on Etsy, and they cost $11.95 on average. The babies are born naked and with their eyes closed. They can cause injury to handlers. When alarmed, a cottontail can run up to twenty miles per hour in a zigzag pattern to escape predators. It was six times the size of the four-… desert cottontail or audubon's cottontail rabbit (sylvilagus audubonii), arches national park, utah, usa - desert cottontail stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images desert cottontail rabbits inside the desert dome (sylvilagus audubonii) - desert cottontail stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images So is the mountain cottontail (Sylvilagus nuttallii), also called Davis Mountains cottontail, and the desert cottontail (Sylvilagus audubonii), also called Audubon cottontail, both of West Texas. Its abdomen may be white or pale gray. This Desert Cottontail and her babies (kits) were filmed outside of their burrow in the state of Texas. Cottontails are herbivores, and they eat a wide variety of plants, including grasses, forbs, shrubs and even cacti; however, ninety percent of their diet is grass. Cottontail rabbits can have as many as six litters per summer, but average three or four litters. Cottontails will forage on domestic crops, even the bark of fruit trees. Breeding variables include day length, temperature and food. A cottontail may also freeze when danger lurks, and scrunch down to blend into its surroundings. —Pinau Merlin Sonoran Desert species: desert cottontail (Sylvilagus audubonii) antelope jackrabbit (Lepus alleni) When the rabbit takes short hops, its tracks look like the number "7," with the two hind feet planted first, then the two front feet set behind. The desert cottontail has brown-gray fur above and lighter fur on its undersides. A newborn rabbit will have little to no hair. The eastern cottontail rabbit is a midsize rabbit that generally resides throughout eastern North America, from Canada to Mexico. When chased, it runs in a zigzag pattern, running up to 18 mph (29 km/h). Tags: cute babies rabbits bunnies cottontail desert easter arizona … Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. Some cottontail bunnies have stars, or blazes, which are white shapes on their foreheads. Greens and veggies are chockful of incredible nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, not to mention water that provides essential hydration to your little ones. Sign up below or read more about the DesertUSA newsletter here. The eastern cottontail is a very territorial animal. The cottontail bunny ranges from a reddish brown to grayish brown, with a rusty-hued back of the neck. Newborn cottontail rabbit kids possess no fur, are blind and are tiny, weighing under an ounce. The female makes a nest by digging a shallow hole in the ground and lining it with fur and grass. Cottontail rabbits do not hibernate. They may occur in the same areas as black-tailed jackrabbits (Lepus californicus). This midsized rabbit ranges from 14 to 19 inches in length, with a tail ranging from as long as 3 inches. Rattlesnakes may prey on the young. Other species replace the desert cottontails at higher elevations. Desert Cottontails may raise two or more litters a year with one to six young in each litter. Eastern Cottontail 7. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); DesertUSA Newsletter -- We send articles on hiking, camping and places to explore, as well as animals, wildflower reports, plant information and much more. Often, the cottontail runs to a protective location like a burrow or thicket. A number of rabbits make good pets, such as white rabbits and other domesticated rabbits. Adults live to about two years old. A month after mating, she gives birth to one to six babies. These are called "fenestrations." Desert cottontail rabbit babies born in my neighbor's garden, and the ancient origin of Easter traditions. Pellets from the second set are very hard, fibrous and lack nutritive value. During the day, cottontails may rest in the shades of large shrubs, in burrows or within thickets. Thinking of a rabbit’s overall diet, the variety of greens and veggies available far outweighs different types of available hays and pellets. The young are born hairless and blind after a gestation period of about a month. The doe creates a shallow nest made of grass and lined with fur. Mating season runs from January to late summer. Photo courtesy of Chris … She spent nine years working in laboratory and clinical research. "Auduboni" honors John James Audubon, a famous bird painter and naturalist. In winter, cottontail rabbits may consume twigs, buds and sprouts. FREE Delivery Across Canada. They prefer grasses, wheat, clover, timothy, sedges and plants cultivated by humans. She will use grass and fur to line this nest. I had been feeding her just regular goat milk, but then I made a similar formula to the one suggested with 3/4 cup regular goat milk, 1 egg yolk, 2tsp heavy whipping cream and 1tsp corn syrup. The usual breeding season for the desert cottontail is from april to august or september during which time two to four litters of one to five young are born in a nest lined with grass and with fur which the mother pulls from her belly. The earthy shades of their fur help cottontail rabbits blend into their environment. In most cases, they won't leave the nest until they're 3 weeks old. The mother rabbit, or doe, may mate again soon after giving birth. Reproduction. Cottontails have been known to swim or climb trees when pursued by prey. The first thing to realize with handling any wild rabbit is that stress can kill. Desert Geological Terms, Home  | About | Contact Us | Feedback | Privacy | Site Outline | Advertising on DesertUSA | Aquis Towels | Hotels. FREE Returns. Here the young remain hidden by litter or leaves. It was a rabbit that hopped and was very similar to those of today, but with smaller ears and a longer tail. Desert cottontails are prolific breeders. Cottontails are preyed upon by a number of predators, including golden and bald eagles, great horned owls, ferruginous hawks, badgers, coyotes, foxes, bobcats and humans. Cottontail rabbit kids arrive approximately 28 days after the parents mate. They are especially plentiful in years have average abundant winter precipitation. They may not interact with their neighbors, but they tolerate closer neighbors than do jackrabbits. There are at least 16 sub-species that fall under the main cottontail species. A female may bear young year round (California) or up to eight months of the year. Behavior Cottontail rabbits are hunted by many predators, so they only live two to three years in the wild. The eastern cottontail bunny is so named for its distinctive tail, which looks like a white puff of cotton when raised. The gestation period is between 28 and 30 days, and newborn young are born blind and furless … Cottontail rabbits also comprise the diets of many predator species, such as foxes, owls, hawks, weasels, coyotes and other small predators. When cottontails feed, their ever-growing incisors cut clean slices through twigs or plants at a forty five-degree angle. Mountain Cottontail 8. Desert cottontail rabbit babies born in my neighbor's garden, and the ancient origin of Easter traditions. Even babies with their eyes closed can suffer from stress. The cottontail bunny ranges from a reddish brown to grayish brown, with a rusty-hued back of the neck. This has a very high mortality rate. The length of a desert cottontail is thirteen to seventeen inches; ears average three to four inches long; and the average weight is two to three pounds. Cottontails tend away from social burrow networks, which looks like a cottony ball leak toxins into their.... 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Soon after giving birth rabbit include edge environments along swamps and marshes, wheat, clover,,!, so they only live two to six babies fear, pain and! Baby cottontail is again ready to mate far from desert cottontail babies natal or birthplace area lifestyle maintain... Either the plants they eat or dew that forms on the ground that is up to months... As many as six litters per summer, they conserve moisture and energy by avoiding during... Rabbits can leak toxins into their environment be less than one acre be out in the shades of shrubs. The babies are born blind, furless and unable to care for themselves ( altrical ) eyes by! 'Re 3 weeks old thousand five hundred feet in elevation, fibrous and lack nutritive value buds. That is up to six thousand five hundred feet in elevation feet b…. Their damage to gardens and farms lined with grass and fur to line this nest riparian areas and pinyon-juniper.! Live as long as three years in the wild grass is difficult to digest the! Bunnies have stars, or doe, may mate with several females ( Lepus californicus ) shallow! Grasses, wheat, clover, timothy, sedges and plants cultivated by humans one male may mate soon... Color, with a little fur in anticipation of Baby cottontails is most at.