Black-tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus californicus) on the run! These large Hares have black tails and ear tips and absolutely stunning eyes! You will appreciate just how hard they are to see at the beginning of the video as they blend in with their habitat. Fortunate to have a rainstorm ending which brought out the animals in the late afternoon. Filmed in April 2017 at Merced National Wildlife Refuge, California. Enjoy!
The black-tailed jackrabbit has long ears with black tips and very long front and rear legs. It is about 18-24 inches long and weighs four to eight pounds. It has peppery brown fur and a black stripe that runs down its back. The black-tailed jackrabbit is not really a rabbit; it is a hare because its young are born with fur and with their eyes open. Males and females look alike, but females are usually larger.
The black-tailed jackrabbit can be found in the western United States from Washington south to California and east to Nebraska and Texas. It is an introduced species in Kentucky and New Jersey.
The black-tailed jackrabbit can run at speeds of up to 30 miles an hour and it can jump a distance of about 20 feet. When it is trying to evade predators like coyotes, foxes, bobcats, badgers and weasels, it moves in a zig-zag pattern. It flashes the white underside of its tail when threatened by a predator. This warns other jackrabbits or danger and can also confuse the predator. It can also swim by dog-paddling with all four of its feet. It is most active at night. It usually spends the day resting in a scraped out hollow in the shade.
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