Species: S. floridanus
The eastern cottontail is a very territorial animal. When chased, it runs in a zigzag pattern, running up to 18 mph (29 km/h). The cottontail prefers an area where it can hide quickly but be out in the open. Forests, swamps, thickets, bushes, or open areas where shelter is close by are optimal habitation sites for this species. Cottontails do not dig burrows, but rather rest in a form, a shallow, scratched-out depression in a clump of grass or under brush. It may use the dens of groundhogs as a temporary home or during heavy snow.
Eastern cottontails are crepuscular to nocturnal feeders; although they usually spend most of the daylight hours resting in shallow depressions under vegetative cover or other shelter; they can be seen at any time of day. Eastern cottontails are most active when visibility is limited, such as rainy or foggy nights. Eastern cottontails usually move only short distances, and they may remain sitting very still for up to 15 minutes at a time. Eastern cottontails are active year-round.