Desert Cottontail
Sylvilagus audubonii

Cottontails, from 12 to 15 inches long, are much smaller that jackrabbits. The hind legs are only slightly longer than the front legs, and the ears are about the length of the head. The coat is gray, with lighter underparts. The ears are black-tipped.

Cottontails are common where grassy forage places are bordered by hiding spots such as fencerows or shrubby growth. They feed in the early morning, then hide until evening when it is again time to hunt for grass and tender plants. Their enemies, besides people and dogs, are coyotes, foxes, bobcats, hawks and owls. At a sign of danger they dash for safety, showing the white puff of tail at each bound.

Cottontails are true rabbits. Unlike the hares, their young are born blind and nearly naked. In spring and early summer, cottontails build a fur-lined nest in a short burrow or in a hidden surface depression. The young remain in the nest about ten days.

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