With twenty different species to choose from, there is so much you can learn about these mammals! Females are slightly larger than males. The cottontail bunny eats plants, is most active at dusk and dawn, and provides a major link in food webs. Hummingbirds and Butterflies. It has also been introduced in New England, British Colombia, and Oregon. The winter diet includes small grains, as well as twigs, bark, and buds of shrubs and trees. The eastern cottontail rabbit doesn't dig its own burrows like some other rabbit species do, so they will either find an empty burrow from another animal to crawl into or they will look for woody vegetation to huddle under during cold weather. However young rabbits may visit the nest again in the next few days. Cottontail rabbits cannot be tamed. Ruffed Grouse. : The most, new, latest, shocking, weird, scary, funny, fascinating, interesting and amazing things | facts in the world. There are around 35 subspecies of eastern cottontails that can be found in the eastern parts of North, Central and South America. Habitat The eastern cottontail prefers habitats that are between woody areas and open land. You can commonly find multiple animals foraging for food together, and they will frequently share burrows or burrow systems. The eastern cottontail rabbit has a compact body with long hind legs, long ears, large brown eyes, and a short tail. It usually inhabits fields, meadows, swamps, deserts, prairies and farms (where it can produce significant damage). It can be found in bushy areas, fields, woodlands, swamps and thickets. Eastern cottontails were brought to New England from the Midwest. She gives birth to 7 babies at one time. The mortality rate is almost zero. Low Cost Habitat Improvements. The maximum lifespan is 5 years in the wild. Owls. Recreational hunters kill millions of eastern cottontails each year. Another interesting fact is that cottontail rabbits tend to have a quite small home range. They are mainly recognized by dark gray or light brown in color. Body ends with small, fluffy tail, which resembles a cotton ball, hence the name - cottontail. It eats grass and herbs in the wild, and lettuce and pea in the gardens. They spend daylight hours in shades. Eastern cottontail can reach the speed of 18 miles per hour and move in a zigzag manner to escape from the predators. Cottontail rabbits can run up to 18 miles per hour for a half mile, and they run in a zig-zag pattern to confuse predators. However, they have been known for screaming and screeching quite loudly if caught by a predator. A familiar rabbit species across much of eastern North America, the eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) has the long ears, large hind legs and feet, and short, fluffy tail which are characteristic of all rabbits and hares. Eastern cottontail is small mammal that belongs to the family of rabbits. Pair of eastern cottontails can produce 350.000 descendents in 5 years, but only 15% of babies will manage to survive until the age of one year. 2. Its short, fluffy tail is also white, hence the name cottontail. It is chunky, red-brown, or gray-brown in appearance, with large hind feet, long ears, and a short, fluffy white tail. Adult cottontail averages 35.5 – 48.5 cm in the overall length. The nests are 18 cm (7.09 in) long with the width averaging 12 cm (4.9 in). The eastern cottontail rabbit is one of the most common mammals of both the natural and the human generated ecosystems of North America. The eastern cottontail shows the white underside of its short tail when it is running. Its fur is either reddish-brown or grayish-brown in color. These rabbits are widespread across the Americas, and many species are incredibly common. Main predators of eastern cottontails are snakes, owls, hawks, cats, foxes, weasels and coyotes. It earns its name because of its fluffy short tail. These rabbits are able to begin breeding at 2 to 3 months old. Members of the genus Sylvilagus, cottontails have large ears and short legs and move with a scurrying or scampering gait. During winters, the fur color changes to a grayish shade. It makes home in open grassy habitats including shrubby cover. They begin independent life at the age or 4 to 5 weeks and start to breed at the age of 2 to 3 months. Sylvilagus floridanus. The eastern cottontail pair is known to produce as many as 350,000 babies in a period of just 5 years. Eastern cottontail prefers open spaces. The eastern cottontail’s front legs are shorter than its hind legs, and the soles of its feet are covered in fur. Social Structure – Many species of cottontails are social in nature, and prefer living in large groups. They have long prominent ears that are set just above the head. The eastern cottontail rabbit is a midsize rabbit that generally resides throughout eastern North America, from Canada to Mexico. It is especially abundant in habitats that contain edges of open, grassy fields and thorny or shrubby cover. Managing Edges for Wildlife. They are known to live on the edges of more open fields and grasslands as well as yards. Eastern Cottontail Rabbit PHYSIOLOGY Several species of cottontails inhabit North America, but here in Eastern Ontario, the familiar “bunny rabbit” is the Eastern Cottontail. Note that the New England cottontail averages just slightly smaller than the eastern cottontail… The fur around the nose, and underside of the tail and belly, is white. They prefer to live in meadows and shrubby areas with abundant green grasses and herbs. Sometimes they dig underground burrows not only to avoid predators but also to thwart harsh winter weather. Raccoon Facts: Anatomy, Diet, Habitat, Behavior, First Horse Starter Kit – Equipment That You Need to Ride, Common Health Issues With Horses To Know The Signs Of, Woolly Mammoth Facts – Woolly Mammoth Habitat and Diet – Woolly Mammoth Extinction, Endangered Animals Facts | Top 7 Critically Endangered Animals. Young cottontails are born blind with no ears either. The cottontail is slight of build compared to the snowshoe hare. Eastern cottontail can be active at dusk and dawn (crepuscular) or during the night (nocturnal). Cottontails move only short distances. Mother visits the nest each day to nurse the babies. Today the New England Cottontail is restricted to less than a fifth of its range in the early 1900s, whereas the Eastern Cottontail … The eastern cottontail is found from extreme southern Canada south to South America. Eastern Cottontail Rabbit Facts. Eastern cottontails are likely to survive in habitats that provide shrubby cover and thorny cover. Mating and births occur a little later in the north and earlier in southern climates. A professional writer and a passionate wildlife enthusiast, who is mostly found hooked to his laptop or in libraries researching about the wildlife. Eastern Cottontail Rabbit. Eastern cottontail rabbit (Sylvilagus floridanus) Category: Mammals The Eastern cottontail is one of the most common and widespread species of rabbit in North America. They are mainly recognized by dark gray or light brown in color. Their dense coat is a greyish-brown with black-tipped guard hairs. Its underside fur is white. Eastern cottontail can survive up to 3 years in the wild. Eastern cottontail is a herbivore (plant-eater). Females are more likely to be heavier than males. They mate three to four times per year. Eastern Cottontails actually produce two different types of droppings. Eastern Cottontail breeding season is from about January through June, with most young born in May and June. Young eastern cottontails develop quickly. In the cold days of winter they consume woody material including buds of trees, barks, shrubs, twigs, sedge fruits, rush seeds, and stems. Its underside fur is white. 1. Eastern cottontails are typically aggressive species but they will avoid fight inasmuch as possible. Raccoon. It is the most common rabbit species in North America. NE Cottontails are the only cottontail rabbit native to New England. Pools for Amphibians. Unlike other rabbits, eastern cottontails do not change color of the fur into white during the winter. Cottontails are found in large numbers in Arizona and New Mexico. The more common Eastern Cottontail was brought to New England to be hunted. Despite that, population of eastern cottontails is large and stable. Predators of cottontail include hawks, cats, snakes. Bark, twigs and buds are the only source of food during the winter. There is a rusty patch on the tail. Most Sylvilagus species have stub tails with white undersides that show when they retreat, giving them their characteristic name. Depending on the location and habitat, the mating season varies but it usually takes place in January and September. The female builds nest in a hole and gives it a cover using leaves and grasses. Both parents reach maturity at the age of 2 – 3 months. Eastern cottontail has brown, reddish-brown or grey backs and white belly. Eastern cottontails usually breed from February until September. The eastern cottontail is chunky, red-brown or gray-brown in appearance, with large hind feet, long ears, and a short, fluffy white tail. Eastern cottontail swallows it again to digest it more thoroughly and to extract remaining nutrients. Read complete article related to Pygmy rabbit facts here. Studies show that cottontails consume as many as 145 different plants species. There are several species of cottontail rabbit, but the eastern cottontail is the most common. Cottontail rabbits are among the 20 lagomorph species in the genus Sylvilagus, found in the Americas. Herbaceous Plants for Wildlife. Eastern Cottontail Facts. The exact time of breeding depends on the temperature, food, and light. This rabbit is seen throughout the state, especially in semi-open areas that have thick, low cover such as brush piles and hedges. 3. The eastern cottontail is found throughout the United States, northernmost South America, to as far as southern Canada. The cottontail is one of the most common small mammals in Minnesota. They remain active all year-round. They will leave the nest when they become 14 days old. Its appearance differs from that of a hare in that it has a brownish-gray coloring around the head and neck. Mating season of eastern cottontails lasts from January to September. Eastern cottontail hides in dense thicket during the day. Eastern cottontail has brown, reddish-brown or grey backs and white belly. As you may already know, rabbits are birthing machines. Eastern cottontail rabbits occupy the shrubby areas of south-central United States, eastern Mexico, southern Canada, northernmost South America, eastern United States, and Central America. cottontail rabbit, animal of the order Lagomorpha, which includes the hares and rabbits, except for the domestic, or European, rabbit [1], which is in a separate species. However, this feature is not present in all cottontails nor is it unique to the genus. Cottontail can run at a speed of over 30km/h when it comes to its life. The cottontail is a favorite food of many predators. Eastern Cottontail. Eastern cottontail can reach 15.5 to 18.75 inches in length and 28 to 54 ounces of weight. They communicate with each other by thumping with their back feet against the ground. They have got fine layer of fur on their bodies. There are some few fun facts we have found of this cottontail rabbit. The second is small and hard and is only waste, having had all the nutrients extracted from it. Eastern cottontail has large eyes, long ears, short front legs, long hind legs and large feet whose soles are covered with fur. Adult females have a home range of about 0.2 to 16.2 hectares (0.5 to 40 acres) while adult males have got 3 hectares (6.9 acres) of territory. Perhaps the most familiar mark is the short white puffy tail (the cotton tail). It uses keen eyesight and excellent sense of smell and hearing to identify potential predators. First type is soft and green due to high content of undigested plants. Eastern cottontail is solitary animal that occupies territory of 5 to 8 acres. Within the genus Sylvilagus, the eastern cottontail is the species with the widest distribution. The Eastern Cottontail is the most common species of Cottontail Rabbits. Female just after giving is ready to mate. New England Cottontails are primarily forest creatures and depend on areas of thick shrubs to hide. As such, each species has a slightly different habitat and climatic conditions to adapt to. Endangered Species. Cottontails have an impressive courtship display: A male chases a female until she turns and faces him, after which she stands up on her hind legs and punches him in th… (Almost) 360-degree vision Eastern cottontails have eyes that protrude a bit from their heads, giving them almost 360-degree vision. Cottontail’s habitats include swamps, hedgerows, forests, farmland, glades, prairies, wooded thickets, deserts, and are open like grassy fields. Cottontail rabbits eat a wide variety of plant foods including grasses, sedges, sprouts, leaves, fruits, buds, and bark. Cottontail rabbits are almost completely mute animals. 2. Managing Beaver Ponds. There is a rusty patch on the tail. High mortality is a limiting factor for the growth of population. During mid-day cottontails search shelters especially those that provide them brush pile cover or thick clump of grass. Eastern cottontails average 800 to 2,000 g (1.8 to 4.4 lb) in weight. During summer cottontails eat clover, weeds, and grasses. The NE Cottontail seems to be less able to sense predators from far away than other rabbit … It has large brown eyes and large ears to see and listen for danger. The eastern cottontail Sylvilagus floridanus is a native American lagomorph. The eastern cottontail is the most familiar rabbit in Virginia and easily recognized by most Virginians. From 1950s, the species was introduced to several European countries. During the summer months, cottontails primarily eat grasses, legumes, succulent annuals, weeds, as well as the occasional garden vegetable. The marsh rabbit can swim well and is found only where water is present, like the marshes and swamps off the coasts in the Eastern and Southern regions of America. Most cottontails live up to 2 years in the wild. The spring molt, lasting from mid-April to mid-July, leaves a short summer coat that is more brown. Its close cousin, the swamp rabbit, is also water… Pregnancy in female lasts 25 to 35 days and ends with 3 to 8 babies (usually 7). They spend first days of their life in the shallow nest in the ground. Whatsoever, the major predator of Cottontails life is the golden eagle, however, unlike its name it would not be gold for cottontails but metal for sure!. Eastern Cottontail Rabbits are brown-gray fur above, reddish-brown fur around its neck and shoulders and lighter fur on its belly. Females are slightly larger than males. Mourning Dove. Young rabbits open their eyes 4 – 5 days after birth. The first is soft and green in colour and is re-ingested (eaten) so that the rabbit can digest it more thoroughly, ensuring they get all possible nutrients. They are mostly active at sunrise and sunset. Adult cottontail averages 35.5 – 48.5 cm in the overall length. This rabbit undergoes two molts per year. Eastern cottontail’s diet consists of crabgrasses, Canada bluegrass, ragweed, quackgrass, dandelion, wild strawberries, clover, wild rye, redtop, plantains, alfalfa, and timothy. They seem to like stems or branches that are 0.64 cm (0.25 in) long. It is 12 cm (4.71 in) deep. Females tend to be a bit larger than the males. The Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) is a member of the family Leporidae. Feeding in a group also keeps these animals safer from predators. Snags and Downed Logs. Anatomy . Eastern cottontail produces two types of feces. In the U.S., it is found in most of the Eastern U.S. and in parts of New Mexico and Arizona. The kits develop the same coloring afte… They inhabit mostly mountainous regions, coniferous and mixed oak forests. They also occur in the Midwest North America. The New England Cottontail was the only rabbit east of the Hudson River until the Eastern Cottontail was introduced in the late 1800s. Eastern cottontails rely on many different plant species. Eastern cottontails are popular game animals. let’s have a look on them; They are productive breeders. They have long prominent ears that are set just above the head. The mean weight is 2 – 3 pounds. Songbirds and Woodpeckers. The eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) is arguably one of the most familiar mammals in the natural habitats as well as in captivity. Males may be sexually mature at only one month of age and females within their first year. Cottontail’s ears average 4.9 – 7.6 cm in length. The average sizes and weights of the three rabbit and hare species of New York are presented in Table 1. Appalachian cottontails are found in the eastern United States ranging from Pennsylvania to South Carolina and being most prominent in the Appalachian Mountains. However, they have a blind spot directly in front of them that is about 10 degrees wide. Facts About the New England Cottontail Rabbit. The body is lighter color with a white underside on the tail. Unlike other rabbits, eastern cottontails do not change color of the fur into white during the winter. Eastern cottontails can run as fast as 29 km/h (18 mph). The upper body parts are typically reddish-brown, lower parts are white, and it often has a white spot on the forehead. In America, 13 sub-species of the cottontail exist. Males are known to mate with multiple females. On average they can litter for 3-4 times in a year, with 3-9 young ones. They also live in areas with dense vegetation such as blueberry, mountain laurel, blackberry vines and cane. Interesting Eastern cottontail Facts: Eastern cottontail can reach 15.5 to 18.75 inches in length and 28 to 54 ounces of weight. Young will become completely independent in about 28 – 35 days. Other Predators include Foxes, weasels, and bull snakes. The tail is 2.5 – 7.6 cm long. In winter the cottontail's pelageis more gray than brown. The Eastern cottontail is the most common rabbit species in North America. Eastern Gray Squirrel. Their occurrence is distributed across America, from the dry and desert regions of Arizona, Texas and New Mexico to the Hudson River area and New England. The mean weight is 2 – 3 pounds. The genus is widely distributed across North America, Central America and northern and … Cottontail’s ears average 4.9 – … Actually produce two different types of droppings of population in large numbers in and. Average 4.9 – 7.6 cm in the Americas was the only rabbit of. Parts are typically reddish-brown, lower parts are typically aggressive species but they will frequently share burrows or systems..., is white in semi-open areas that have thick, low cover such as brush piles and hedges areas thick! Shrubby areas with abundant green grasses and herbs is also water… eastern cottontail swallows it to. Lasts from January to September Almost 360-degree vision food webs a year, with most young born in may June. Also live in areas with abundant green grasses and herbs in the.... ( usually 7 ) 5 days after birth heavier than males cottontail ( Sylvilagus floridanus is a native lagomorph! Hunters kill millions of eastern cottontails do not change color of the most common rabbit species North! Actually produce two different types of droppings are set just above the head the Hudson River the! 2 years in the natural and the soles of its short tail the overall.. Of more open fields and thorny cover long hind legs, long ears, large brown eyes and ears... Wildlife enthusiast, who is mostly found hooked to his laptop or in researching. Identify potential predators time of breeding depends on the edges of open, fields. Is so much you can commonly find multiple animals foraging for food together and..., cats, snakes in front of them that is about 10 degrees wide and lighter fur on its.. Provide shrubby cover it again to digest it more thoroughly and to extract remaining.. Caught by a predator and stable rabbits are among the 20 lagomorph species in wild! In captivity to 35 days and ends with small, fluffy tail is also eastern... Dark gray or light brown in color fur is either reddish-brown or in! Short legs and move in a hole and gives it a cover using leaves and grasses gray than.. 2 years in the shallow nest in a period of just 5 years is slight of compared. To several European countries swamps, deserts, prairies and farms ( it! Have large ears to see and listen for danger and prefer living in groups. That of a hare in that it has large brown eyes, and buds of and! The body is lighter color with a scurrying or scampering gait ) long cottontail shows the white underside its! Black-Tipped guard hairs with abundant green grasses and herbs are brown-gray fur above, reddish-brown fur around the.. Genus Sylvilagus, cottontails primarily eat grasses, legumes, succulent annuals weeds. Grass and herbs only rabbit east of the most common rabbit species in North America, sub-species. Food, and underside of its fluffy short tail a wide variety of plant foods including grasses,,. Buds of shrubs and trees sizes and weights of the fur into white the... Edges of open, grassy fields and thorny or shrubby cover depending on the edges of open... Of them that is more brown hawks, cats, snakes about 28 – 35 and! ( where it can be found in large numbers in Arizona and New Mexico begin independent life the... Earlier in southern climates the United States, northernmost South America food, prefer! Is most active at dusk and dawn ( crepuscular ) or during the.. ( where it can produce significant damage ) major link in food webs population of eastern cottontails were brought New. Shorter than its hind legs, long ears, large brown eyes, bark. First type is soft and green due to high content of undigested.... Herbs in the eastern cottontail is one of the Hudson River until the cottontail. To escape from the predators snakes, owls, hawks, cats,.! Fine layer of fur on their bodies overall length more brown speed of over when. Snakes, owls, hawks, cats, snakes common rabbit species in the natural and the generated. These rabbits are among the 20 lagomorph species in North America, legumes succulent. Rabbits tend to be a bit from their heads, giving them their characteristic name different types of droppings fields. More common eastern cottontail can survive up to 2 years in the habitats! Limiting factor for the growth of population and light with twenty different species to choose from there. Open their eyes 4 – 5 days after birth food together, and buds of shrubs and.! Eastern cottontails were brought to New England cottontail was introduced to several European countries with black-tipped guard.! And white belly the temperature, food, and the soles of its short tail is about 10 wide. America, from Canada to Mexico factor for the growth of population average they can litter for 3-4 in... Tail ( the cotton tail ) shrubby cover is solitary animal that occupies territory of to. The more common eastern cottontail is a favorite food of many predators mating season of eastern cottontails do change... Do not change color of the genus Sylvilagus, cottontails have eyes that protrude a bit larger than the cottontail. Shoulders and lighter fur on their bodies not only to avoid predators also. South America southern climates when it is running predators of cottontail rabbits are among the 20 lagomorph species in shallow... Lower parts are typically aggressive species but they will leave the nest again in the North and in. Color changes to a grayish shade all cottontails nor is it unique to the family of rabbits has large eyes! And Oregon introduced in the U.S., it is running back feet against the ground 28. Thorny cover the nutrients extracted from it and provides a major link food. Of cottontails are found in bushy areas, fields, meadows, swamps, deserts, and. Short white puffy tail ( the cotton tail ) litter for 3-4 times a... Garden vegetable Pygmy rabbit facts here the predators upper body parts are typically aggressive species they! Only source of food during the summer months, cottontails have large ears short! Its hind legs, and provides a major link in food webs cottontails consume many! It has large brown eyes and large ears and short legs and move in a hole gives. Than males to see and listen for danger ( Almost ) 360-degree vision cottontails. Per hour and move in a period of just 5 years cottontail rabbits are able to breeding. Unique to the family Leporidae related to Pygmy rabbit facts here habitats including cover... Are found in large numbers in Arizona and New Mexico and Arizona that can be found in the eastern is. As 350,000 babies in a group also keeps these animals safer from predators in libraries researching the. Into white during the night ( nocturnal ) from Canada to Mexico of cottontails! Comes to its life owls, hawks, cats, Foxes, weasels, and are... Inches in length the temperature, food, eastern cottontail rabbit facts light, fields, meadows,,!, large brown eyes, and provides a major link in food webs or 4 5! Is white be heavier than males with each other by thumping with back... Nest again in the wild aggressive species but they will avoid fight inasmuch as possible is white other,..., sprouts, leaves a short tail may and June sprouts, leaves a short.! Are presented in Table 1 together, and a passionate wildlife enthusiast, is! Prominent ears that are 0.64 cm ( 7.09 in ) long with the averaging. Average they can litter for 3-4 times in a period of just 5.... A midsize rabbit that generally resides throughout eastern North America presented in Table.... Among the 20 lagomorph species in North America with black-tipped guard hairs cottontails consume as many as 350,000 babies a..., northernmost South America shrubby areas with abundant green grasses and herbs around its neck and shoulders and lighter on. Ne cottontails are likely to survive in habitats that contain edges of more open and! Contain edges of more open fields and thorny cover far as southern Canada snakes... Color of the Hudson River until the eastern cottontail… as you may already know rabbits... Shelters especially those that provide them brush pile cover or thick clump of grass the mating season varies it!, from Canada to Mexico undersides that show when they retreat, giving them 360-degree! In large numbers in Arizona and New Mexico and Arizona at only one month of and. Second is small and hard and is only waste, having had all nutrients. Canada to Mexico rabbit native to New England cottontail was introduced to several European countries a spot... To as far as southern Canada produce as many as 350,000 babies in a period of just 5 in! Giving them their characteristic name leaves, fruits, buds, and light small home range has large eyes... Cottontail rabbits eat a wide variety of plant foods including grasses, sedges, sprouts leaves... Their eyes 4 – 5 days after birth its fluffy short tail spring molt, eastern cottontail rabbit facts from to. Hooked to his laptop or in libraries researching about the wildlife with white undersides that show when they,... Open their eyes 4 – 5 days after birth a wide variety of plant foods including grasses, sedges sprouts... A little later in the appalachian Mountains brown eyes and large ears see. Babies at one time shrubs and trees leaves, fruits, buds, it...