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Posts Tagged ‘Eastern Cottontail’

Frost covered the ground early on Tuesday morning when I arrived at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The first creature that I spotted was an Eastern Cottontail rabbit (Sylvilagus floridanus) foraging in the wintery grass that has not yet turned green. The sunlight was soft and low, making the bunny glow.

It was a wonderfully gentle way to begin a new day.

Eastern Cottontail Rabbit

Eastern Cottontail Rabbit

Eastern Cottontail Rabbit

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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I don’t see rabbits very often during my visits to various wildlife parks. Perhaps the numerous hawks and eagles in the area keep the rabbit population under control, or at least make the rabbits especially cautious and stealthy. I was happy therefore when I spotted this Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) during a recent visit to Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge and thrilled when he posed momentarily for me.

This rabbit looks to be an adult, but somehow all rabbits are “bunnies” to me. I suspect that is because I had a rabbit as a pet for several years and got used to playing with him every day. I would let Prime Rib (yes, that really was his name) out of his cage and he would happily run around me as I sat on the living room floor, periodically bounding over my outstretched legs.

It was a sad moment for me when Prime Rib died and I can’t help but think of him every time that I see one of his cousins in the wild.

Eastern Cottontail

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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I don’t see rabbits very often at Huntley Meadows Park, so I was thrilled to see this Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) on Monday in one of the meadows in a remote area of the park. I suspect that the rabbits are more active at dawn and dusk, when I am not there, though one of my friends offered a more straightforward explanation—the raptors are efficient hunters.

Eastern Cottontail rabbit

Rabbits have become a part of my daily life since I recently adopted a friend’s rabbit. She moved into an apartment in the city and could not bring PR (Prime Rib) with her, so he now lives with me. I don’t know the full story of his name, but do recall that her former rabbit was called Porkchop.

PR spends most of his time in his cage, but for an hour or so each evening I let him run around the living room. Sometimes he runs and jumps at such high speeds that I wonder if there is caffeine in his food. I took this shot of him relaxing after one of his evening exercise sessions. I think the photo makes for an interesting comparison with the rabbit in the wild (and I also think he’s cute, though I may be biased).

PR

Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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