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Brush Rabbit


Brush rabbits are cottontails, rabbits with white cottony tails. They are found in brushy areas. They are active dusk and dawn, but are primarily nocturnal. Sometimes, the young are active in the daytime.

Brush rabbits do not dig burrows like European rabbits do. When escaping from predators, they will retreat into dense brush. They hide by day in brush piles and grassy depressions, resting in forms of their own construction.

Brush rabbits are small, weighing only two to four pounds. Like all rabbits, they are prolific. They can have five litters of up to seven young per year. The young are born with their eyes closed and lack fur. The mother hides them in a nest, which she covers with a blanket of grass before she leaves to feed. The babies are mature in four or five months.

They eat woody vegetation in the winter, including bark, twigs, buds, Douglas fir, and salal. During the summer, the diet is more varied. They eat grasses, berries, plantain, clover, and other plants. Scat is a round pellet, to 1/3 inch in diameter.

Common predators include foxes, coyotes, gopher snakes, and bobcats.

Tracks are often indistinct due to the hair on the bottom of the feet. Tracks are in groups of four prints, with the cluster usually measuring six to nine inches long.


Click here to see drawings of brush rabbit tracks.


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Send e-mail or questions to: hrsp@northcoast.com


http://www.northcoast.com/~hrsp/brrabbit.html
Revised: 29 August 1997
Written by Kim A. Cabrera
Copyright © 1997 Humboldt Redwoods Interpretive Association
hrsp@northcoast.com


California