Our Cottontail Colony

Over the years of writing this blog, I have related the saga of cottontails on our Littleton, Colorado, farm.  During the first two decades of owning the property, we did not observe any rabbits on the lawns and pastures; the reason, of course, was that red fox were denning beneath our barn.  Once the fox were extirpated by coyotes (which we later managed to dislodge as well), cottontails began to appear.

Three years ago, a pair spent the winter on our farm and, during the next spring and summer, produced at least two litters of bunnies.  Two years later, we have dozens of cottontails on the property; having colonized the farm in our presence, they are oblivious of our activity, often lounging on the driveway or beneath the shade of a tree.  Active throughout the day, the cottontails are ever present; we can't look out a window without seeing two or three of them.

Of course, sooner or later, a fox, hawk or owl will take notice of their abundance and their population will begin to dwindle; no doubt, they will also become more skittish and nocturnal in their behavior.  Long an admirer of both the placid nature and hardiness of cottontails, I hope the predators are not overly successful.