Critter Corner - Eastern
DID YOU KNOW:
The wild rabbit you see in your yard and in parks is called the
Eastern Cottontail because of the white, cottony fur on the
underside of the tail. Baby wild rabbits are born naked and
helpless with their eyes closed. The rabbits you see in
pet stores are really 'hares'. Baby hares are born covered
with fur and with their eyes open.
Rabbits eat grass, clover and fresh greens. Their favorite
foods are strawberries and dandelion flowers. In winter,
they dine on twigs, bark and seeds.
During warm weather, rabbits may have as many as six litters,
each averaging four to five babies. The way rabbits
outsmart the many hungry hunters that eat them is to have lots
of babies. Baby rabbits are called 'kittens' and grow
quickly. The baby cottontails' eyes open when they are one
week old. They are weaned from their mom's milk in about
two weeks. After three weeks, they are as big as an orange
and on their own.
live in fields, brushy areas and even in our back yards.
We can help rabbits and other wildlife by providing some natural
areas in our yards. Tall grass and bushes provide food and
places to hide.
Rabbits will freeze and try to stay hidden if they feel
threatened. If danger gets too close, rabbits will escape
by running in a fast, zigzag pattern. They have strong
legs and, while running, can jump more than 10 feet. If
grabbed, rabbits can kick out with their powerful legs to
Sadly, the biggest problems rabbits face is being caught by
cats and dogs. We can help rabbits by keeping an eye
on our pets when they are outside.
It is against the law to keep wild rabbits as pets.
They are so nervous around people that they can die from
If you want a pet rabbit, there are many unwanted domestic
rabbits that need a good home.
To learn more about
the Eastern Cottontail Rabbit
(Photo credits: All photos
from US Fish and Wildlife Service)