Desert Cottontail

Unlike “desert daisy,” which is descriptive but incorrect nomenclature for a brittlebush, “desert cottontail” is the proper name for the thing it seems to be: a bunny with a fluffy white butt.

I’m amused by their various strategies for responding to my presence on the walking trails.  Some scamper off as soon as they see me.  Some freeze in place until I’m past.  Some freeze in place until I pause, and then they scamper off.  Some hide under bushes; some turn their backs on me — “If I can’t see you, you can’t see me?” — but exposing that attention-getting white butt.

I don’t know which strategy works best, but collectively they’re doing something right.  They’re everywhere down here: in the desert proper, in desert-like parks, in neighbourhood parks, and in the washes snaking through the city.

And some of them have time for Pilates.

2-photo collage of desert cottontails



    1. Marion

      Hmm … isn’t the answer to the question about life (or whatever it was) 42? I guess for spiders, if it doesn’t move in 42 seconds, it isn’t alive/a threat.
      Interesting observation.

  1. Marion

    We have a lot of desert cottontails around our place here in Tucson Estates as well. We also have couple of coyotes who stroll through the neighbourhood regularly, so … circle of life, I guess. They all look healthy.

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Marion – I’ve heard tell of coyotes in the Wash, but have never seen one. Based on casual observation, I’d say the rabbits are outpacing the coyotes: they (the bunnies) are everywhere.

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Judith – You could be right. I checked to see if they’re rodents — they’re not — but maybe they hold down a similar ecological niche.

  2. Once again, it’s the camouflage that astounds me. I still don’t know what to call the effect after an eye-dazzling hour of looking at holograms and optical illusions for a word that escapes me, but those bunnies do it.

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