A Very Tough Life

Tuesday, July 2, 2019,

This is an adult Eastern Cottontail Rabbit that I saw at Frank Melville Park. Check out its ears in these two photographs. Look at how tattered both of them are. These don’t appear to be fresh wounds but something very nearly made a meal of this guy sometime during its lifetime. Eastern Cottontails have an average lifespan of only three years in the wild. By way of contrast, the very same species can live to be up to eight years in captivity. It’s a hard life in the wild and these pics are an example of just how tough it is for any wild animal.

I don’t know what manner of critter that attacked this rabbit, be it a fox, or hawk, or even your neighbor’s cat or dog, but the predators of rabbits are many and they take their toll. This guy is a lucky survivor. JK

A Rough Start

Tuesday May 14, 2013,

20130510075328-5x7wHere’s a shot of a young Eastern Cottontail I saw at Avalon Preserve last week. He’s only half-grown but he’s not so new to the world. Most rabbits are only fist-sized when they’re turned out to fend for themselves. While this guy isn’t even an adult yet, he does show signs of what it means to be a rabbit in the wild. Click on the pic and have a look at those ears. Something, possibly a fox or a hawk, has been at this little one. Maybe even a raccoon or a possum. If you look closely enough, you’ll see that at least one tick is still chowing down on our unfortunate hero. There are many, many critters that have rabbit on the menu. This could go a long way to explaining why rabbits procreate like, well,  rabbits. They absolutely need to. They’re feeding an entire ecosystem.  JK