Brush Rabbit vs Desert Cottontail

These two species (Sylvilagus bachmani vs Sylvilagus audubonii) are very similar.

Here are some good discussions for telling them apart:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/6912099
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/56575544
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/56575543

Here's a rare & exceptional photo of the two species side-by-side
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/50052974

Helpful notes from @biohexx1:
The way that I tell desert from brush cottontails is:

1.) dark tips on the ears
desert cottontails have dark tips:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/44827385
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/44805427

2.) ear length to body ratio
desert cottontails have longer ears (though no where near
as long as jackrabbits) than brush:
desert
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/27415544
brush
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/26754521
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/26720438

3.) rust-colored nape of neck and legs (desert) vs. unicolor gray (brush)
desert
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/27292884
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/26996261
brush:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/27187739
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/27004728

4.) 'fluffiness' of tail
muted tail (brush)
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/26648081
fluffy tail (desert)
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/26786946
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/26840130

5.) geography
Having said all of this, it can be hard to tell one from the other sometimes. People use cell phones which doesn't give the best quality of image from far-away. People only get one picture/one angle of the rabbit. Sometimes the rabbit is in a shrub or shadow and hard to see features. Sometimes the rabbit is in a rest-position and you can't see the back of its neck and its ears are lain down.

Posted by truthseqr truthseqr, August 21, 2020 07:22 PM

Comments

Thank you for putting this together Anne, I've been meaning to learn to distinguish them for some time now.

Posted by kyle_eaton_photog... 12 days ago (Flag)

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