Eastern Cottontail Rabbit (Sylvilagus floridanus)
6 March (with VIDEO)
We seem to have a healthy population of these creatures, possibly because we have ensured that the garden has planty of sheltering brush-pioles and a decaying “stumpery”. On the other hand we also have young trees and bushes with tasty bark – bark being what these animals feed on during the winter. Not good for the trees. The illustrated bunny here was eating fallen pine tree leaves that had been thrown down to the ground by the squirrels – we have a short video of a length of such greenery being inhaled by the rabbit.
Unlike the Euro-Rabbits, these guys do not make burrows but prefer th rest and shelter in scrapes made in the grass, rather like Hares do. On the other hand they will take shelter in major snow storms etc in burrows excavated by groundhogs and the like.