New Neighbor- Eastern Cottontail Rabbit

Eastern Cottontail Rabbits were introduced into Oregon as game animals from the mid-west in the 1930’s to early 1940’s. First released in Benton County, Eastern Cottontails have spread at least through the mid-Willamette Valley. I’m happy for the opportunities they are now providing for me in Washington County to take aim with a camera in nature photo shoots.

Eastern Cottontail Rabbits are most active at dawn and dusk. That is when we have been delighted to catch glimpses of these new neighbors as they hop about reducing the weeds in the yard. Rabbits are good to have around. In addition to eating weeds, their urine and feces help nourish the soil.

Questions I’ve had about Eastern Cottontail Rabbits-
Where do they live?
Cottontails are edge-dependent and live where two different habitats meet, such as a grassy wetland edge and a forest.
Where do these rabbits nest?
Cottontails do not nest in burrows… They nest in shallow, hand-sized depressions in the ground. The mother rabbit pulls fur from her belly to line the nest and covers it with dried grass, so you may not even notice the nest in your yard. Cottontails also like to nest in tall grass. I appreciate this knowledge. It will help to make rabbit-safe yard maintenance decisions.🐰Three cheers for rabbit-tat.

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