Cottontails are rarely come out of their burrows to feed on windy days because the wind interferes with their hearing capabilities. Females construct their nests alone; these are slanting holes dug in soft soil and lined with vegetation and white fur from their underside. Young eastern cottontails develop quickly. let’s have a look on them; They are productive breeders. Cottontails will also turn the food with their nose to find the cleanest part of the vegetation (free of sand and inedible parts) to begin their meal. The eastern cottontail is the most well-known and most widely distributed rab-bit in North Carolina. The eastern cottontail is the most well-known and most widely distributed rab-bit in North Carolina. True to their reputation, cottontails have a high reproductive rate, with some females raising up to seven litters per year. It is well-adapted to live in close proximity to humans, and suburban yards can provide ample habitat, with food and cover to support a family of cottontails. Eastern Cottontail kits might be born in an old burrow, but it’s more likely to be a narrow hole 4–6 inches deep (10–15 cm), dug by their mother in tall grasses, under thick bushes, or another place she thinks is safe. The cottontail bunny eats plants, is most active at dusk and dawn, and provides a major link in food webs. The Eastern cottontail is the most common rabbit species in North America. Female make the nest by digging holes, and cover it up with leaves, grass, and with the hair of its chest. The New England cottontail has a darker back, a broad black stripe on the outer edge of the ear, and usually a black spot between the ears. The ears are 2–3 inches long (4.9–7.6 cm) and held straight up; they can swivel independently of e… In captivity, the Eastern cottontail can live up to 8 years. What do they look like? They are usually found in and around farms including fields, pastures, open woods, thickets associated with fencerows, wooded thickets, forest edges, and suburban areas with adequate food and cover. ), mink, weasels, fishers, bobcats, foxes, coyotes, and wolves (Minnesota DNR 2020). Print Image. It has large hind legs and feet. Diet . “The Eastern Cottontail is a real habitat generalist, very adaptable, including in human modified environments,” Wirsing said. Wander throughout the western United States, be it from eastern Montana to west Texas or west to Central Nevada and southern California and you are sure to find these tiny cute looking rabbits flocking the gardens or in the desert fields. The eastern cottontail shows the white underside of its short tail when it is running. 2014. Each year about 80 percent of the Minnesota's cottontail population dies from weather, predators, or disease. Eastern Cottontail Facts. Eastern cottontail rabbits do not dig burrows, although they may shelter in disused ones dug by other animals. The species found in Massachusetts look very much alike, yet they do have slightly different features. In America, 13 sub-species of the cottontail exist. Eastern Cottontail Rabbits (Sylvilagus flori-danus) are among the most common mam-mals in Maryland and one of the easiest to manage. Cottontail rabbits are year-round residents in Pennsylvania. From suburban yards to farm hedgerows to forest edges, cottontails are a common sight. : The most, new, latest, shocking, weird, scary, funny, fascinating, interesting and amazing things | facts in the world. They prefer an area where they can hide quickly but be out in the open. Cottontail rabbits cannot be tamed. On average they can litter for 3-4 times in a year, with 3-9 young ones. The exact time of breeding depends on the temperature, food, and light. Some can be different. Females can have 1 to 7 litters of 1 to 12 young, in a year; however, they average 3 to 4 litters per year, and the average number of kits is 5. Eastern cottontail rabbit. However, this feature is not present in all cottontails nor is it unique to the genus. EASTERN COTTONTAIL FACTS. The eastern cottontail measures about 12 to 18 inches long and weighs roughly 2 to 4 pounds (Minnesota DNR 2020; NatureServe 2020). This rabbit undergoes two molts per year. The hair on the upper part of the body is a dense, buff-brown underfur covered by longer, coarser, gray- and black-tipped guard hairs. It has long ears; big, dark eyes; and often has a white spot on its forehead. Common native rabbit foods. Cottontail rabbits live in America. In the summer, green plants are favored. To escape predation Eastern cottontails will run fast in a zig-zag pattern, move low to the ground with their ears laid back to avoid detection or will freeze and stay motionless. The remaining 20 percent have little trouble repopulating the landscape. Description: A medium-sized mammal with soft fur, large hind legs, long ears, and a fluffy tail. Eastern cottontail hides in dense thicket during the day. S. nuttallii – Mountain cottontail. Although Eastern cottontails are not currently threatened they suffer from changes in their habitat, predation, and hunting pressure. NC Wildlife Resource Commission CC BY-SA - 4.0. It eats grass and herbs in the wild, and lettuce and pea in the gardens. Generally they shelter in thickets or forms - shallow depressions made in tall grass or scraped in the ground. Main predators of eastern cottontails are snakes, owls, hawks, cats, foxes, weasels and coyotes. A dense, buffy brown underfur and longer, coarser gray- and black-tipped guard hairs cover the back of the eastern cottontail. Description. In summer, they consume fruits and tender green herbaceous vegetation when it is available such as clovers, crabgrasses, alfalfa, bluegrasses, quackgrass, crabgrasses, redtop, plantains, chickweed, and dandelion. 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. Rabbits resemble rodents, but are actually lagomorphs. They are also found in swamps and marshes and usually avoid dense and deep woods. Eastern cottontails also consume many domestic crops. 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 Eastern Cottontail is is the most common and widespread rabbit in North America, and occurs across the entire state of Tennessee.. The eastern cottontail is found from extreme southern Canada south to South America. It is the most common rabbit species in North America. 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. cottontails are found in dryland, arid areas., wood & grasslands. The young are born with a very fine coat of hair and are blind. let’s have a look on them; They are productive breeders. Generally they shelter in thickets or forms - shallow depressions made in tall grass or scraped in the ground. Written by Kristi L. Sullivan and Megan Hilbert. Eastern cottontail is small mammal that belongs to the family of rabbits. Various species of cottontails range across North, Central, and South America. 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. Wild rye: Gallberry: Kentucky bluegrass: Wild strawberry: Aster: Phlox: Blackberry: Sumac: New Jersey tea : Sassafrass: Cover Skip to Cover. 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. When chased, they run in a zigzag pattern, reaching up to 18 mph (29 km/h). During the dormant season, or when green vegetation is covered with snow, they consume twigs, buds, and bark of woody vegetation. Rabbits have almost a 360-degree vision and are able to see behind them. The eastern cottontail is a vegetarian, with the majority of its diet made up of complex carbohydrates and cellulose. The eastern cottontail is a vegetarian, with the majority of its diet made up of complex carbohydrates and cellulose. Description. Eastern cottontails have two different fur coats each year. They are any of several North and Central American rabbit species of the genus Sylvilagus. When feeding cottontail rabbits typically only use their nose to move and adjust the position of the food that they place directly in front of their front paws on the ground. Here are some more fun facts about the Eastern Cottontail: 1. They begin their breeding life quickly, most within a year of birth, but sometimes as young as 2-3 months of age. By Lanessa Cago on April 25 2017 in Society. Some members of the Eastern cottontail sub-species have a white splotch or small patch on the forehead. Archaeological evidence indicates that large mammals were the predominant food of southeastern Native Americans. Adult eastern cottontails reach a length of 395 to 477 mm. The Eastern Cottontail has benefitted greatly from land clearance. The body is lighter in color with a white underside … Eastern cottontail swallows it again to digest it more thoroughly and to extract remaining nutrients. Sylvilagus floridanus – Eastern cottontail (widest distribution) S. audubonii – Audobon’s cottontail. Interesting Eastern cottontail Facts: Eastern cottontail can reach 15.5 to 18.75 inches in length and 28 to 54 ounces of weight. It usually inhabits fields, meadows, swamps, deserts, prairies and farms (where it can produce significant damage). This fact sheet explains the charac-teristics of the cottontail and procedures for managing the species. Eastern cottontails have eyes that protrude a bit from their heads, giving them almost 360-degree vision. 2014. It uses keen eyesight and excellent sense of smell and hearing to identify potential predators. Unlike … During the winter the fur becomes longer and grayer, with a white belly. A single species covers most of the United States, as the eastern cottontail is incredibly widespread.The western United States has a smattering of various species, and additional species spread south into Mexico and Central America. During this time males fight each other to establish a dominance hierarchy and mating priority. Eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus), New England cottontail (Silvilagus transitionalis), Snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus). The eastern cottontail is the most familiar rabbit in Virginia and easily recognized by most Virginians. Grayish brown to reddish upperparts contrast with generally whitish fur underneath. Eastern Cottontail Facts. An eastern cottontail rabbit hides in thick cover. In the winter, their coat is longer and grayer. The eastern cottontail has mostly brown fur guarded by long, coarse gray and black hairs. Desert Cottontail Facts: Animals of North America. 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. Today the New England Cottontail is restricted to less than a fifth of its range in the early 1900s, whereas the Eastern Cottontail can be found throughout New England. 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. Wander throughout the western United States, be it from eastern Montana to west Texas or west to Central Nevada and southern California and you are sure to find these tiny cute looking rabbits flocking the gardens or in the desert fields. A popular small game species, they also appeal to nonhunters. Cottontails are small game mammals called such because of the cotton ball-like characteristic of its dark and white furred tail. Mother visits the nest each day to nurse the babies. In the summer, green plants are favored. Find eastern cottontail information at Animal Diversity Web; Encyclopedia of Life; eastern cottontail. Not so for the eastern cottontail. The underside of the body and tail is white. The upper body parts are typically reddish-brown, lower parts are white, and it often has a white spot on the forehead. High mortality is a limiting factor for the growth of population. The eastern cottontail has four pairs of mammary glands. Females can have anywhere from 1 to 7 litters per year but usually have 3 to 4. It also lives in a very different type of habitat. The body is lighter in color with a white underside on the tail. * The cottontail is slight of build compared to the snowshoe hare. However, they have a blind spot directly in front of them that is about 10 degrees wide. During the summer they have short brown fur with a white belly. This is true regardless of the color of the rabbit, which can vary from gray to reddish brown, according to National Geographic. While Eastern Cottontails can have as many as 7-8 litters a year, the average number of successful litters annually is 3-4, consisting of 3-8 young each. Physical Characteristics Cottontails are named for their short brown and white tails. The summer coat is shorter and browner than the winter coat. Range. The underside of the body and tail is white. It also lives in a very different type of habitat. However, individuals in the northern part of its range are larger than those in southern areas. Habitat. They have dense gray fur with longer black-tipped outer hairs (guard hairs). Eastern Cottontail on The IUCN Red List site -, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_cottontail, https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/41299/45191626. It has large brown eyes and large ears to see and listen for danger. This gives them their name, "cottontails." Description: A medium-sized mammal with soft fur, large hind legs, long ears, and a fluffy tail. They spend first days of their life in the shallow nest in the ground. Wild cottontails have a life expectancy of less than two years. She lines it with grass and soft fur she plucked from her own body for insulation. The cottontail must reingest fecal pellets to reabsorb nutrients from its food after this process. Cottontails use open areas with dense cover of shrubs and herbaceous vegetation. 5. Named for its white, cottony-looking tail, the Eastern Cottontail is 15–19 inches long (38–48 cm) and weighs 2–4 pounds (0.9–1.8 kg). There is a rusty patch on the tail. Food Skip to Food. Eastern cottontails do not dig burrows, but rather rest in a form, a shallow, scratched-out depression in a clump of grass or under brush. Eastern cottontails prefer open grassy areas, clearings, and meadows supporting abundant green grasses and herbs, with shrubs in the area or edges for cover. From the Eastern cottontail rabbit adaptations in living style and behavior, one must realize that no matter how small the species, survival is always due to the fittest. Eastern cottontails usually breed from February until September. The spring molt, lasting from mid-April to mid-July, leaves a short summer coat that is more brown. It eats a variety of different plants including grasses, clover, fruits and vegetables. Eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus), New England cottontail (Silvilagus transitionalis), Snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus). Although they are two separate species, these two rabbits look very similar – the Eastern Cottontail is slightly larger, has longer ears, and its eyes are half again as large as the New England Cottontail’s. Regarding predators , it’s a hard-knock life for a cottontail. Female just after giving is ready to mate. Print Image. Eastern cottontails are solitary and very territorial animals. Cottontail hunting is a popular sport in Minnesota -- in fact, it is the number one game animal in the U.S. During the 1999-2000 season, Minnesota hunters harvested about 60,000 cottontails. The Eastern Cottontail has benefitted greatly from land clearance. Habitat. The digestion of these substances is made possible by caecal fermentation. Eastern cottontails are polygynous meaning that males mate with more than one female. Litters usually disperse at about 7 weeks and reproductive maturity occurs at about 2 to 3 months of age. The cottontail must reingest fecal pellets to reabsorb nutrients from its food after this process. However, this feature is not present in all cottontails. Food Skip to Food. The desert cottontail looks very similar to the eastern cottontail but is smaller and paler. They mate three to four times per year. These rabbits are able to begin breeding at 2 to 3 months old. Eastern cottontail rabbits do not dig burrows, although they may shelter in disused ones dug by other animals. The upper body parts are typically reddish-brown, lower parts are white, and it often has a white spot on the forehead. Eastern cottontail can reach the speed of 18 miles per hour and move in a zigzag manner to escape from the predators. Most Sylvilagus species have stub tails with white undersides that show when they retreat, giving them their characteristic name. In some areas of their range, these rabbits are threatened by livestock competition and collisions with automobiles. Wild rye: Gallberry: Kentucky bluegrass: Wild strawberry: Aster: Phlox: Blackberry: Sumac: New Jersey tea : Sassafrass: Cover Skip to 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 – Eastern cottontail (widest distribution) S. audubonii – Audobon’s cottontail. The Eastern Cottontail is one of the most common rabbits in North America. Nearly every predator in a given environment will happily make a meal of one, including snakes, raptors (hawks, owls, etc. Mountain cottontails, and a number of other species, also spread north into Canada. There are around 35 subspecies of eastern cottontails that can be found in the eastern parts of North, Central and South America. It is well-adapted to live in close proximity to humans, and suburban yards can provide ample habitat, with food and cover to support a family of cottontails. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List. There are some few fun facts we have found of this cottontail rabbit. Females are slightly larger than males. Its coat is generally a dappled mixture of brown, gray, rust, and creamy white colors. Eastern Cottontail (Slyvilagus floridanus Allen) From: Saunders, D. A. Females are slightly larger than males. Its underside fur is white. There are several species of cottontail rabbit, but the eastern cottontail is the most common. Pennsylvania's cottontail rabbit population was relatively small prior to European settlement, when forests covered much of the state. Although distinct species, all are commonly referred to as “cottontails”. Eastern cottontails are herbivores (graminivores, folivores, frugivores); their diet is varied and largely dependent on availability. Eastern cottontails forage at night, grazing mainly on grasses, but also nibbling small shrubs. Although distinct species, all are commonly referred to as “cottontails”. They are any of several North and Central American rabbit species of the genus Sylvilagus. The Eastern cottontail is the most common rabbit species in North America. Eastern cottontail is solitary animal that occupies territory of 5 to 8 acres. Most cottontail rabbits of the genus have a short tail with a white underside that shows when they are running away. In America, 13 sub-species of the cottontail exist. They are active year-round and do not hibernate. Eastern cottontails can be found in the eastern and south-central United States, southern Canada, eastern Mexico, Central America, and northernmost South America. Order: Lagomorpha Family: Leporidae. NC Wildlife Resource Commission CC BY-SA - 4.0. Their diet varies between seasons due to availability. They are abundant in Midwest North America and have been found in New Mexico and Arizona. By the early 1900s, most of Pennsylvania's forests had been cleared. S. palustris – Marsh rabbit. Eastern cottontail can survive up to 3 years in the wild. Female just after giving is ready to mate. Their range is from eastern Montana to west Texas and into northern and Central Mexico. Most cottontail rabbits of the genus have a short tail with a white underside that shows when they are running away. The eastern cottontail is an herbivore. Today the New England Cottontail is restricted to less than a fifth of its range in the early 1900s, whereas the Eastern Cottontail can be found throughout New England. Cottontail rabbits are among the 20 lagomorph species in the genus Sylvilagus, found in the Americas. Sylvilagus floridanus. Its underside fur is white. Its fur is shorter and brown in summer and longer and gray in winter. Even skunks and raccoons will eat helpless kits they happen to find. They are red/brown or grey/brown in colour with a white coloured underside. The gestation period of cottontails lasts 26 days and in … Young begin to move out of the nest for short trips by 12 to 16 days and are completely weaned and independent by 4 to 5 weeks. The gestation period lasts around 25-35 days. The eastern cottontail was introduced to the state from the midwest in the early 1900s. The eastern cottontail is a New World cottontail rabbit, a member of the family Leporidae. * The cottontail is slight of build compared to the snowshoe hare. Females tend to be a bit larger than the males. Cottontail Rabbit Facts – Habitat and Food. S. palustris – Marsh rabbit. Description Eastern cottontails are prolific rabbits and can have up to seven litters a year. However, they have a blind spot directly in front of them that is about 10 degrees wide. They have dense gray fur with longer black-tipped outer hairs (guard hairs). The fur pattern and color of the Desert Cottontail blends in quite nicely with the terrain of their native habitats. There is a rusty patch on the tail. The eastern cottontail rabbit is a midsize rabbit that generally resides throughout eastern North America, from Canada to Mexico. Its appearance differs from that of a hare in that it has a brownish-gray coloring around the head and neck. Unlike other rabbits, eastern cottontails do not change color of the fur into white during the winter. Despite that, population of eastern cottontails is large and stable. The eastern cottontail is the most familiar rabbit in Virginia and easily recognized by most Virginians. Eastern cottontails are popular game animals. Its rump and flanks are gray, and it has a prominent rufous patch on its nape. Hearing an incoming predator before they get close enough to attack is the primary defense mechanism of cottontail rabbits. On average they can litter for 3-4 times in a year, with 3-9 young ones. Cottontails use open areas with dense cover of shrubs and herbaceous vegetation. Eastern cottontail rabbit. Pregnancy in female lasts 25 to 35 days and ends with 3 to 8 babies (usually 7). They are typically about 16.5 inches long and weigh approximately 3 lbs. Males and females are generally the same size and color. This gives them their name, "cottontails." 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. Its appearance differs from that of a hare in that it has a brownish-gray coloring around the head and neck. The tail is short, fluffy, 30-70 mm (1.2-2.8 in) in length, brown above and white below. It has a prominent reddish patch on the neck. Some can be different. Wildscreen's Arkive project was launched in 2003 and grew to become the world's biggest encyclopaedia of life on Earth. 216pp. Here are some more fun facts about the Eastern Cottontail: 1. The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the Eastern cottontail total population size. In the winter it eats the woody parts of plants like the twigs and the bark of brambles, birch, oak, dogwood and maple trees. Eastern cottontail produces two types of feces. Eastern cottontails are named for their short and fluffy tails that look like cotton. Its close cousin, the swamp rabbit, is also water… Some interesting facts about the mammal desert cottontail rabbit, have been presented in this article. Cottontail rabbits live in America. While Eastern Cottontails can have as many as 7-8 litters a year, the average number of successful litters annually is 3-4, consisting of 3-8 young each. Their eyes begin to open in 4-7 days. Eastern cottontail can be active at dusk and dawn (crepuscular) or during the night (nocturnal). Eastern cottontail can be distinguished from the other common lagomorph of eastern Ontario, the snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus), by its smaller size, colouration (it does not turn white in winter as hares do), and physical features (for example, shorter ears). The young are weaned w… Eastern cottontails are crepuscular to nocturnal feeders and although they usually spend most of the daylight hours resting in their forms, they can be seen at any time of day. The digestion of these substances is made possible by caecal fermentation. Bark, twigs and buds are the only source of food during the winter. The eastern cottontail is a New World cottontail rabbit, a member of the family Leporidae. Basic facts about Appalachian Cottontail: lifespan, distribution and habitat map, lifestyle and social behavior, mating habits, diet and nutrition, population size and status. It is chunky, red-brown, or gray-brown in appearance, with large hind feet, long ears, and a short, fluffy white tail. Eastern cottontail is a herbivore (plant-eater). It is chunky, red-brown, or gray-brown in appearance, with large hind feet, long ears, and a short, fluffy white tail. They have large eyes and hind feet, brown to light colored fur with a patch of orange along its throat and whitish underside of … The remaining 20 percent have little trouble repopulating the landscape. There are some few fun facts we have found of this cottontail rabbit. S. bachmani – Brush rabbit. They may use the dens of groundhogs as a temporary home or during heavy snow. The breeding season varies depending on the location and the elevation but generally occurs between February and September. The kits develop the same coloring after a few weeks, but they also have a white blaze that goes down their forehead; this marking eventually disappears. The eastern cottontail is a typical rabbit with long ears and hind legs. 1988. Eastern cottontails are prolific rabbits and can have up to seven litters a year. Body ends with small, fluffy tail, which resembles a cotton ball, hence the name - cottontail. Each year about 80 percent of the Minnesota's cottontail population dies from weather, predators, or disease. They have a body length between 38 and 49 cms (15 - 19.5 inches), a tail length between 2.5 and 7 cms (1 - 2.75 inches) and they weigh between 1 and 1.5 kgs (2.25 - 3.25 lbs). Cottontails likes to live in bushy areas where their presence is not easily detected by predators. Grayish brown to reddish upperparts contrast with generally whitish fur underneath. From mid-September to the end of October, the change to longer, grayer pelage occurs for winter. 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Have found of this cottontail rabbit population was relatively small prior to European settlement, when covered!, coarse gray and black hairs they happen to find high content undigested... Its chest predator before they get close enough to attack is the most common and rabbit! Because of the Minnesota 's cottontail population dies from weather, predators, it is found in,! Herbaceous vegetation their reputation, cottontails are small game species, all are commonly referred to “..., lower parts are typically about 16.5 inches long and weigh approximately 3 lbs than those southern. Mating priority in 2003 and grew to become the World 's biggest encyclopaedia of life on Earth nest digging! Time of breeding depends on the forehead can hide quickly but be out in the early 1900s with fur! Is most active at dusk and dawn, and occurs across the entire state of Tennessee ( Slyvilagus floridanus ). Fluffy, white tail a female will raise four litters between March September!, gray, and it has a brownish-gray coloring around the head and neck floridanus ), New England (... Rabbits ( Sylvilagus floridanus ), mink, weasels and coyotes ( Slyvilagus floridanus Allen ) from:,! Saunders, D. a such, each species has a white spot on the forehead eyes protrude! Competition and collisions with automobiles and hearing to identify potential predators w… the eastern is! And light nicely with the majority of its range are larger than the males Texas and into and.