Eastern cottontail thrives almost everywhere east of the Rocky
Mountains. Preferred habitats include brushy areas near swamps
and forest edges. They are also frequently found in suburban residential
areas that have succulent fertilized grasses and lush landscape
plantings. Cottontail rabbits are named for their white tails,
which resemble balls of cotton.
other types of rabbits, cottontails do not dig their own burrows,
but use well camouflaged surface nesting places, or the burrows
of other animals. Nests are lined with grass and soft fur.
species reproduces in great numbers. Females are capable of producing
up to five litters of three to eight young in a single season.
Newly born cottontails are blind at birth and lightly furred.
They become self-sufficient at about two weeks of age and remain
in the nest until that time.
are an important food source for a variety of predatory animals,
including cats, foxes, hawks, and owls. These predators help keep
the species large numbers under control.
© 1995 Dianne Harrah, Drawing © 1995 Bill Harrah.
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