Desert Cottontail

Photo © Benjamin R. Miller

Fun Facts:

  • Desert cottontails are quite fast and can run up to 19 miles an hour.
  • Desert cottontails can live anywhere from 3 to 8 years.
  • They only use their noses to move their food while eating.

No wonder this rabbit looks alert: it would make a nice meal for many predators, including hawks, owls, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, and snakes. Cottontails have good hearing and eyesight and stay close to cover. When chased, they run fast in a zigzag pattern. They eat mostly grass and wear down their teeth, so their teeth are always growing. Because they have so many predators, cottontails need to have a lot of babies. Females can breed at three months and have two or more litters in a year. The mother makes a nest lined with grass and fur from her belly. The babies are born without fur and with their eyes closed but are weaned at two weeks and leave the nest a week later. Come spring, Rose Canyon is full of tiny bunnies out on their own.


How are Desert cottontails different from European rabbits in terms of socializing?

Click for the answer:

While European rabbits tend to have large social burrow systems, Desert cottontails are much more independent. That being said Desert cottontails are much more tolerant of other rabbits they do not know in their territory.