Wild rabbits are very observant, active animals. Being of small size and stature, wild rabbits are prey for larger animals. So, they need to be on the lookout for predators around the clock. With that said, wild rabbits exhibit some very strange behavior.
The reason seeing a wild rabbit sitting in one place could be because the rabbit is on guard, senses danger, has a nest near by, there content, eating or resting.
Let’s explore each of those reasons.
1. On Guard
One of the strangest behaviors exhibited by wild rabbits is sitting in the same place for long periods. Scientists believe this behavior is related to safety. As mentioned above, wild rabbits are some of the smallest animals in the wild.
So, they need to be aware of their surroundings 24/7. When a wild rabbit stays in the space spot for a long time, it is likely monitoring its surroundings.
2. Safety Mechanism
Wild rabbits sitting in the same place for long periods is just a natural safety mechanism. While the rabbit sits in the same spot, it is looking for predators. The rabbit will sit close to its shelter, so when danger approaches it will not have far to go.
While wild rabbits do scour for food sources, they generally do not stroll too far away from their shelters. This is especially true for wild rabbits with babies.
3. Nest Nearby
Mother rabbits are protective over their young ones. However, they tend to not spend a lot of time in their nest. They will return to the nest several times a day to feed their babies. But, the rest of the time, they will sit idol a short distance from the nest.
4. They Are Content
There is simply no denying that rabbits are innate foragers and scavengers. Heck, it doesn’t take a professional vet or animal specialist to realize it. It is just in their nature and it is how they provide for their families.
Well, most people also don’t realize that rabbits cannot be domesticated. Sure, a lot of people have them as pets, but this doesn’t mean that they make good pets.
Given the fact that rabbits cannot be domesticated and they are innate scavengers, it seems like the would naturally be roaming the wild. Unfortunately, this is not the case at all. In fact, when rabbits are content or happy they will stay right in the same place.
Of course, being content means that they have everything they need nearby like food, shelter, and family. If you see a rabbit just sitting about in your yard, there is a good chance that he or she has everything that it needs nearby.
Mother rabbits have the responsibility of building a nest for their young ones. In most cases, wild rabbits opt to build their nests only a short distance under the ground.
The nest will take on many forms but is almost always shaped like a basin. This shape provides adequate space for the mother and babies, as well as quick and easy access.
Once the nest is erected, the mother rabbit will need a little rest before giving birth. Rabbits give birth at least four times a year throughout their life. The mother rabbit may decide to sit near the nest while she rests.
So, when it is time to give birth, she will only need to travel a very short distance to return to the nest.
The wild rabbit summer diet consists of clover, grasses, flowers, weeds, and vegetables. Wild rabbits need to be on the lookout for predators all the time. This is especially true when they are eating. Since rabbits do not stock up on food for the winter, they can spend more leisure time outdoors.
There are many reasons why rabbits sit idle for long periods. During this time, the rabbit may munch on some grasses, weeds, or other food sources.
During these leisurely moments, the rabbit may eat, rest, and eat some more. But, do not think that the rabbit is not aware of her surrounds. Being aware is the only way for the rabbit to stay safe in the wild.
Rabbits sleep in strange positions with their eyes open or half-closed. One particular position comes to mind is sitting with legs tucked underneath the body. Since rabbits sleep with their eyes open, it is difficult to determine if they are sleeping or awake.
If you are close enough, you may be able to see the rabbit’s eyelids twitch or droop. Unfortunately, it is not recommended to approach a rabbit when it is sitting idle. This will only spook the animal and may put it in more danger of predators.
Rabbits sitting with their front legs stretched out in front of their body may also be grooming. While the rabbit may not groom the entire time they are sitting in that position, she may do it periodically. The way rabbits groom is very similar to felines.
Rabbits shed on average of four times a year. This process is known as molting. During molts, rabbits will utilize their tongue to groom their fur.
The area near the nest is the safest place for rabbits to groom. If the rabbit’s body rocks back and forth and head drops periodically, it is probably grooming. The rabbit will also utilize its front feet to clean its face and ears.
9. Sense Danger
Wild rabbits spend a lot of time sitting idol. There are many reasons why they act in this manner. It is believed that the rabbit will sit up on their hind legs with their nose up for long periods because they sense danger.
This position provides the rabbit with a great view of their surroundings. The rabbit’s nose may also twitch from time to time as well. This is just the rabbit’s way of trying to determine is danger is nearby.
Scientists have been able to pinpoint the rabbit sitting in the same position for long periods to a broad range of things. But, the behavior is mostly necessary for the rabbit’s safety.
Wild rabbits vary in size from eight to 20 inches in length. And, can weigh up to 4.4 pounds. Unlike domestic rabbits, wild rabbits have a short lifespan because their meat is a delicacy for larger predators.
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Wild Rabbit – strange behavior