They have big eyes, long ears, and large hind legs and feet. 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. Whew! One owner of a domestic rabbit says her pet has learned to unlatch his cage and also leads her to the food storage container when his food bowl goes empty. It has big eyes and a tail that is puffy white on the underside. The eastern cottontail is found from extreme southern Canada south to South America. And, the ears are cupped, which helps to catch and amplify sound waves. Mountain cottontails, and a number of other species, also spread north into Canada. (Humans, by comparison, have merely five or six million receptors.) In two weeks they begin taking tentative excursions from the nest and, at about this same time, their long ears start to raise up from their flat position. Winter is the most difficult time of year for rabbits. Movement draws the eye, while staying still can hide the animal, as its hair color usually blends into the surroundings. (Rklawton / Wiki; CC BY-SA 2.5). July, 1942 HOME RANGE OF COTTONTAIL RABBIT 357 15 4 A 3 16 C 9 1 9 18 F E 6 D 13 f 21 20 2 G 8 - 10 I5 17 14 L 1i J FIG. When a predator is chasing it, the eastern cottontail will often leap from side to side to break its scent trail. They do it between 20 and 120 times a minute, and for a good reason: They’re smelling scents in the air. It will sometimes stand on its hind feet to watch for predators like coyotes, foxes, weasels, eagles and hawks. In the United States, they range from the east coast to the Great Plains in the west. Eastern Cottontail breeding season is from about January through June, with most young born in May and June. The eastern cottontail is the most common of all American rabbits. In the contiguous United States, the eastern cottontail ranges from the east to the Great Plains in the west. Hares are born with hair, their eyes open, and good vision; rabbits are born mostly bald, with eyes closed. Connell (1954) expressed home range of cottontails as the average distance traveled from a computed center of activity. As it sails over it gives the predator a powerful kick in the head or neck with its hind legs. It will sometimes stand on its hind feet to watch for predators like coyotes, foxes, weasels, eagles and hawks. Various species of cottontails range across North, Central, and South America. And juveniles play-fight. Cottontails are built for speed, jumping, and agility. The range of one cottontail is no more than five acres (about the size of five football fields). Species has been increasing in Southwestern North Dakota, and displacing Mountain Cottontail. Cottontails range from reddish brown to gray, but all feature the distinctive “cotton ball” tail for which they are named. (Be careful if handling a wild rabbit—they’re surprisingly strong.). She stays near them, at least part of the day, resting in a slight depression, called a form, that she creates by scraping away or trampling down the soil or vegetation. The underside is white. A different male fathers each litter and males don’t participate in the parenting. True to their reputation, cottontails have a high reproductive rate, with some females raising up to seven litters per year. It can be fierce, with jumping, chasing, biting, and boxing involved. The young are … Their underside is white. Pine squirrels love, love, love their pines. They travel a route of relative safety. The most widespread rabbit in the United States is the Eastern Cottontail. If detected, they bound away through one of their several escape routes. Playful young cottontails. Eastern Cottontails can be found in the meadows, agricultural areas, orchards and woodlands of North and South America. As you may already know, rabbits are birthing machines. The eastern cottontail can leap distances of between 10 and 15 feet. It has a black patch between its ears and is usually smaller than the eastern cottontail and has shorter ears. They have powerful legs and large back feet, which enables them to run at up to 18 miles per hour (29 kmh) for up to half a mile (0.8 km). They are one of the most common rabbits in North America. If they must flee, they bound away through one of several escape routes they’ve already plotted throughout their range. They may have up to five pregnancies per season, but usually only three, each time producing four or five kits. They growl and grunt, or may scream if caught by a predator. Range Extent. Eastern cottontail rabbits reside throughout the eastern United States and parts of Canada and Mexico. They grow into fluffy, playful juveniles, jumping into the air and chasing each other around while making low purring, growling, and grunting sounds. They run along trails within thick brush to escape predators. In winter, they eat buds, stems, and the bark of woody plants, including young trees. ), Cottontail Mother feeding her kits. Because they’re taken this way, they’re rarely seen. Cottontail rabbits play important roles in their ecosystems. Range and Distribution The eastern cottontail is the most wide-ly distributed species of North American rabbit. North American rabbits rarely, if ever, dig a burrow. If you were to face one straight on, it would slightly turn its head to get past that blind spot to see you better. (Daniela Corno / Stockxchng; PD). 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 the ears and face! Rabbit nest hidden in chipped-wood mulch. Young cottontails practicing their courtship ritual. Comment Habitat is likely stable within +/- 25% since European settlement. The focal precision of a territory than those in southern, eastern, range... 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