Cottontail Rabbit

Rouge Valley, May 2014

Rouge Valley, May 2014

We caught this little one eating grass (sp?) in the Rouge Valley, Toronto.

Baby Cottontails, Guelph Lake Nature Centre, 2007

Baby Cottontail, Guelph Lake Nature Centre, 2007

This little one was dropped off with his/her brothers and sisters at the Guelph Lake Nature Centre sometime in the summer of 2007. Something had happened to the parent and the nest had been damaged, leaving the babies vulnerable to predation.  We helped feed and take care of them until they were ready for release in September. I am thankful for the opportunities that I have had to help rehabilitate animals at the nature centre.

Rabbit Fur

Alexis shared a tip for identifying rabbit versus raccoon fur.  There are lots of bands of colour in a rabbit hair whereas raccoons do not have so many bands of colour.  Raccoon hair is also more crinkled. Apologies for this blurry photo of a strand of rabbit fur:

june 2014 100

Cottontail Rabbit Tracks

Cottontail Rabbit Tracks (Spruceline Farm, January 2015)

Cottontail Rabbit Tracks (Spruceline Farm, January 2015)

Cottontail Rabbit tracks are often in a “Y” shape.  The two rear feet register in front of the front feet in a bound (rears landing side by side).  There is a leading toe that creates a sideways “J” shape in the track as well.

Cottontail Rabbit Tracks (Spruceline Farm, December 2014)

Cottontail Rabbit Tracks (Spruceline Farm, December 2014)

The cottontail rabbit will occasionally use this track pattern, placing front feet side by side.  I wonder if this gait represents slow, cautious behaviour?

Cottontail Rabbit Tracks (Spruceline Farm, December 2014)

Cottontail Rabbit Tracks (Spruceline Farm, December 2014)

This photo shows the pattern left by a cottontail rabbit that “stopped in its tracks”.

Track Morphology

Which foot is this?

Rabbit Track (Spruceline Farm, January 2015)

Rabbit Track (Spruceline Farm, January 2015)

This rabbit track is from a rear, right foot.

Look for an angled notch that appears near the top, on the inside of the track.

Cottontail Rabbit Track (Spruceline Farm, December 2014)

Cottontail Rabbit Track (Spruceline Farm, December 2014)

 

Cottontail Rabbit Tracks (Spruceline Farm, December 2014)

Cottontail Rabbit Tracks (Spruceline Farm, December 2014)

Front tracks (above).  Rear Tracks (below).

Cottontail Rabbit Tracks (Spruceline Farm, December 2014)

Cottontail Rabbit Tracks (Spruceline Farm, December 2014)

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