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Do Cottontail Rabbits Hibernate?

| Updated September 26, 2017

There are 13 species of cottontail rabbits and nine of them are spread throughout the United States. Cottontails are prey to many animals including owls, dogs, bobcats and people.


The cottontail rabbit does not hibernate. The cottontail will emerge from its burrow anytime of the year, usually at dawn and dusk, to eat things like grasses and strawberries in the summer or twigs and bark in the winter. They also eat their own feces to get all the nutrient value from their food.


Cottontails have erect ears, big back feet and most of the species have fluffy, white tails. They can weigh from 1 to 5 lbs. and grow up to 19 inches long.


Most cottontails prefer habitats at the edges of open fields and with a cover of shrubs, so they can graze and hide as needed. However, some cottontails are found in habitats that include swamps or deserts.