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Desert Cottontail
Desert Cottontail (Sylvilagus audubonii: Leporidae) This cottontail rabbit was photographed in Cottonwood Campground, Big Bend National Park, Brewster County, Texas, USA. Open manicured campground dominated by Rio Grande Cottonwood and surrounded by Rio Grande riparian at 661 m (2,170 ft) elevation.
Open manicured campground dominated by Rio Grande Cottonwood and surrounded by Rio Grande riparian at 661 m (2,170 ft) elevation.
Cottonwood Campground, Big Bend National Park, Brewster County, Texas, USA
Date taken
May 2014
Scientific name
Sylvilagus audubonii
Equipment used
Very nice shot of a young cotton tail . It is reserved according to its stance .
Its expected lifespan is about two years but they can live much longer if not preyed upon . I have Nuttall's here , they act differently in some respects but for the most part are very similar to the desert variety.

When you come across older nuttall's they usually have bites taken out of their ears from breeding brawls and numerous scars around the face . I have many of them here where I live as can be witnessed by simply looking at the trees and bushes in my yard .

people get upset when cotton tails munch on their trees and bushes but that may be a mistake if you wish for trees and bushes that harbor rabbits and other types of ground based wildlife as well as some types of ground nesting Avian species .

Cotton tails take the tops out of young trees and bushes and cause them to stool out with multiple leaders rather then one central leader. The advantage

Being that the tree is shorter yet wider with branches close to the ground providing protection from overhead foragers such as raptors ravens etc. At the same time the rabbits feed on the lowest hanging branches of many types of trees establishing and maintaining a clear area under some types of trees with a clearance height of approximately sixteen inches .

They like to climb up onto the lower bases of the branches of trees they have manicured over the years and rest in safety . Willows are one of their favorites .

Their nests are on top of the ground often times under piles of dead fallen branches and debris but in areas where they co exist with humans a unused lawn mower or the top of a unused cars under hood engine will do .

Piles of old construction materials left on the ground , under buildings . They are quick to fill any void left by other rabbit species that disappear in many geographical areas in the U.S.

Everything with a taste for live prey eats them , from snakes to golden eagles cotton tails are on the menu and so comes their short lifespan in the wild.

I have some here that are very old but then again , I have a six foot no climb fence around five acres and have allowed the rabbits to select which trees they want here and keep them trimmed to fit their needs.
There are over seventy trees on my place , some planted by birds , some planted by me .
The birds have a greater success rate of planting trees the cotton tails desire . Its easy to gauge , if the cotton tails don,t like trees I plant here they simply cut them down to ground level and continue to do so until the new trees are dead.

I have learned to help them , if they take one down to dirt level I pull out what is left. An do not plant that type of tree here again. I never plant new trees more then just a few inches tall just for that reason.

It takes longer to get a mature giant but when it happens I can rest assured it is the right giant for my home.

A superb, detailed image of this lovely Cottontail Stanley !!! Thanks for sharing.
Great close up on this little bunny!! Beautiful setting and detail!! |:$|

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Wild Mammals
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Stanley Jones
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