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Black-tailed Jack  Rabbit

(Lepus californicus)

Several images, please scroll down

Above shot with 100-400 mm zoom at 400mm plus a 1.4x extender on my Canon 1D mk2 camera. ISO 200, 1/200 sec, f/10, cropped.

   The jack rabbit is one of the most common wild animals around our Sonoma County, California, place. They are relatively adapted to humans and don't run on sight (I was about 50 feet from this fellow) but they don't allow you to walk right up to them either. Once they do start moving, they are FAST! (See jumpin' jackrabbit.) This image was made with a Nikon F100 camera, Nikkor 80-200 f/2.8 zoom at 200 mm plus a 2x tele-extender, for a total of 400 mm focal length. Because of the long focal length, this image is cropped very little. The shot was made around sunset, therefore the reddish cast.

   Lepus californicus is a member of the lagomorphs, that peculiar order consisting of the rabbits and hares. The jack rabbit is a hare, ie, a lagomorph of the running type (hares) rather than the burrowing type (rabbits). Unfortunately, lagomorphs can be agricultural pests and in our neighborhood, young grape vines have to be protected from them. This fellow measures about 50-60 cm (20-25 inches) and weighs perhaps 2.5 kg (5.5 lbs). His huge ears provide good early warning protection from some predators and a very important heat-radiating mechanism in our hot summers. Click here for an image of a brush rabbit (near the bottom of the page).

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