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Desert Dwelling Blacktail Jackrabbits: Can't A Fella Get Some Privacy?

Jackrabbit Family: Mike in Tucson

Gettin' ready for a dustbath: Mike in Tucson

Digging a dustbath: Mike in Tucson

Taking a dustbath: Mike in Tucson

Aaahh!  Nothing like a dustbath:  Mike in Tucson

Desert dustbath: Mike in Tucson

Whoa!  Whozzat?!  Mike in Tucson

Jackrabbits!  These desert animals sit two feet high, and half of that is ears.  They live in families, and their main concern is watching out for predators like Cara-Caras and Coyotes.

Cara Cara: Mike in TucsonEDIT:  The last six photos are a sequence, and that's the same jackrabbit in each photo.  He's creating a dust bath, rolling over in it, and then I surprised him. 

Jackrabbits got their name from those big ears. Dubbed "Jackass Rabbits" by Mark Twain in his book Roughing It, (according to National Geographic's website,) the name has been shortened to Jackrabbit.

Actually, they are not rabbits at all.  They're hares.  These desert dwellers are Blacktail Jackrabbits, and can weigh up to 9 pounds.  They can run at speeds of up to 40 mph, and jump more 10' in a single leap.

The Cara Cara on the right is an eagle, indigenous to Mexico, and it's the one you will see on the Mexican Flag.

(My camera was set to take sequence bursts of three photos at a time.)

 

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Comment balloon 37 commentsMike Jones • July 24 2010 01:00AM

Comments

Great pictures! They look "muscular" almost! Thanks for the blog!!!

Posted by Todd & Devona Garrigus, Broker / REALTORS® (Garrigus Real Estate) over 10 years ago

What's a cara cara and that 2nd picture is pretty freaky.  Looks like a bat gone wrong.

Posted by Jane Peters, Los Angeles real estate concierge services (Home Jane Realty) over 10 years ago

Don't have that variety of rabbit up here and not sure what cara-caras are?

Posted by Bob & Carolin Benjamin, East Phoenix Arizona Homes (Benjamin Realty LLC) over 10 years ago

I really enjoy your great action shots of the Jackrabbits.  Thank you for the effort.

Posted by Tim Lorenz, 949 874-2247 (TIM LORENZ - Elite Home Sales Team) over 10 years ago

Great pictures!

Posted by Lori Liveston (Virtual Homes, Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Mike...if those are rabbits are definitely the ugliest I've seen :)

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate over 10 years ago

Wow! They sure are scrawny looking critters....

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 10 years ago

Hey quick draw!  That's some fast shutter you've got there.  What's going on with the one flat on the ground????

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Unbelievably skinny!   Great shots - they must be fun to watch as you photograph .....

Posted by Dagny Eason, Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo (Dagny's Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Those are some great looking pictures, thanks for sharing.  Wow those are some ears.

Posted by Richard Weeks, REALTOR®, Broker over 10 years ago

Richard,

The ears serve a double purpose.  They are very large, very thin, and translucent.  They enable the jackrabbit to hear the slightest noise, and are their "cooling mechanism."

Dagny,

They are fun to watch; they seem to enjoy themselves.

Lenn,

He's taking a dust bath.  The white you see in the last photo is dust on his fur.

Michael,

That he is.

Rebecca,

They're not actually rabbits.  They're hares.  They got their name from their long ears, and were called "jackass rabbits" by Mark Twain in his book Roughing It.

Lori,

Thanks for stopping by.

Tim,

You're welcome!

Carolin,

Actually, their range extends throughout Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and beyond, according to National Geographic

Jane,

I'll edit the post to show you the Cara Cara.

Todd & Devona,

Thanks for being the first to comment!

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 10 years ago

Wow!!!   Love to know a Cara Cara - seems like a bald eagle almost - looks almost as big?    Thanks so much for pulling me back here, Mike, and adding the photo and more storyline....

Have a great weekend!

Posted by Dagny Eason, Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo (Dagny's Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Dagny,

You're welcome.  I should have anticipated the questions last night when I was putting this together.  Thanks for asking!

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 10 years ago

You are, indeed, the DESERT DUDE!

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Very cool local wildlife!  But mine's cuter...a lawnmower "rescue" we let back in the wild once it got a little bigger:

Posted by Lisa Moroniak, SFR - Short Sale & Foreclosure Certified (Keller Williams Realty | Northern Virginia | 703.635.0388) over 10 years ago

We have rabbits outside our office... long ears but not that long.  One has a messed up ear?  Bar fight?  Lawn mower accident?  Wild rabbits are thinner than the rabbits at the Ohio State Fair....   well fed agrirabbits or pets. 

I say "Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit" first thing each month on one of my blogs because it is good luck.

I am glad to know the rabbit on it's side was taking a dust bath.

Posted by Maureen McCabe, Columbus Ohio Real Estate (HER Realtors) over 10 years ago

Congrats on the feature Mike!  Good shooting (photos at least) - the jacks aren't good eating anyway, but I know a lot of people who have given up gardening in rural areas because of them!

I've always thought of them as similar to antelope in their athleticism & mannerisms.

Posted by Kent Simpson, Real Estate Is About People (Realty One Group Mountain Desert) over 10 years ago

Great post and interesting read, learned something new today. Loved the pictures.

Posted by Diane Williams over 10 years ago

Very cool photos - & the ears on these jackrabbits are AMAZING!

Posted by Nancy Conner, Olympia/Thurston County WA over 10 years ago

Nice action pics of those odd looking creatures.  I ran into some of their cousins in SE Montana once.  While walking out in the long grass the little suckers would dash out in front of you at just the wrong time.  Several of the little buggers would run upright, using only their back feet.  It was a sight to see, but they were way too quick for my camera. 

Posted by Brett Tousley, Tri Cities Real Estate | (509) 420-0013 (Keller Williams Realty) over 10 years ago

I have never seen a rabbit with such large ears before!!!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 10 years ago

Mike, I love those ears and how they HOP too. GREAT photos.... good job.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) over 10 years ago

And if that bird was named Elmer, we'd be hearing, "I'm hunting wabbits!"

Posted by Richard Strahm, Lansdale and North Penn Real Estate (American Foursquare Realty) over 10 years ago

Mike...

Wow, those are some big ears! Great shots, as always and a very interesting portrait of your part of the world!

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) over 10 years ago

Mike, thanks for adding the clarification....

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate over 10 years ago

Love the presentation of your local Tucson Jackrabbits, Mike. We have either several Jackrabbit families or one really big one living outside our window/door store in Medford. Drives our dog crazy when she visits. Don't know what kind they are, though. You've challenged me to find out!

Posted by Karen Cooper, Helping Homeowners w/Home Loans in 27 US States (Karen Cooper | Sr Retail Loan Originator ! NMLS # 223305 | 360 Mortgage Group LLC Austin Texas) over 10 years ago

Mike, Great pics, we have something similar in Montana.  They're called Jackalopes!  LOL!

Posted by Deborah "Dee Dee" Garvin, C2 Financial (C2 Financial) over 10 years ago

Deborah,

I've seen a few of those antlered jackrabbits on the wall here and there, but have yet to see one in the wild.  I'm hoping, though...

Karen,

Let me know when you find out.

Rebecca,

You bet!

Richard,

Thanks for stopping by to comment.

Wichard,

We wuve those wabbits.

Gary,

He leaped straight up in the air!  I wish I had been following his antics with my Flip Video.

Barbara-Jo,

Thanks for your email, and for stopping by to comment.

Brett,

I've never seen that.  Wish your camera had been at the ready.

Nancy,

Thanks for saying so!  I'm in agreement.

Diane,

Good deal!

Kent,

I'm sure you have 'em in NM on your ranch.

Maureen,

I was waiting for the Cara Cara to try and make off with one, but never got that action shot.  The jackrabbit must have been muttering "rabbit, rabbit, rabbit."  :)

Lisa,

...and I'll bet they never grew back.  Poor little guy.

Lenn,

I would have deserved the title if I could have gotten an action shot of that Cara Cara on the hunt!  These photos were all taken last Saturday on the Tohono O'odham reservation south of Sells, AZ.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 10 years ago

Mike,

They do have some pretty big ears and I wonder if they can out run a eagle?

Posted by Don Rogers, Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes (Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield) over 10 years ago

I sometimes thought my mother was a jackrabitt. No disrespect, it is just i could whisper something and see would hear it. Hey maybe REALTORS® should grow jackrabbit ears and listen a bit more. Can't wait for your next photo post of the elusive desert jackalope.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) over 10 years ago

Hi Mike, those were really some WOW photos. I actually said out loud as I looking at them. I didn't even read the post yet, LMAO. No worries I am heading right back up there and will probably write another comment, LOL.

Posted by William Johnson, Retired Real Estate Professional (Retired) over 10 years ago

You're right Mike - they're all over the place on our farm in Las Cruces - keeping 'em out of our garden was how I learned to shoot a .22!  More cottontails than Jackrabbits though - the jacks are more skittish & wary than the cottontails (& a lot smarter!).

Posted by Kent Simpson, Real Estate Is About People (Realty One Group Mountain Desert) over 10 years ago

How neat and I learn something new every day.  I had always thought a rabbit and hare were the same.  Great pictures and in fast sequence no less!  I hope the Cara Cara didn't get it.

Sue of Robin and Sue

Posted by Robin Dampier REALTOR®, Hendersonville & Western NC Real Estate Source (Coldwell Banker King) over 10 years ago

Well,  I was gonna say, tastes like chicken, but somebody said they don't taste good.  

That is cool that you caught that 'dust bath'.  I didn't know they did that.  

 

Posted by Doreen McPherson, Phoenix Arizona Real Estate ~ (Homesmart ~ Scottsdale ~ Tempe) over 10 years ago

If you get a real shot of a jackalope, you will have lived up to your name...  Miracle Mike!  Just sayin'!  LOL

Posted by Doreen McPherson, Phoenix Arizona Real Estate ~ (Homesmart ~ Scottsdale ~ Tempe) over 10 years ago

Mike - did you take the picture of the eagle right before he had rabbit lunch? I've seen hawks flying with snakes in their talons, they seem fearless.

Posted by Larry Brewer - Benchmark Realty llc (Benchmark Realty LLc) over 10 years ago

Hi Mike, Such impressive photos. They are not really that cute though, kinda leggy, if you know what I mean, LOL. That eagle would have been a post all by itself if I  had been lucky enough to encounter one. Beautiful bird. The colors on him are really attractive.  I have a collection of Eagles.  I adopted it as an inspiration in my life to always " SOAR" . I think I got that idea a lot of years years ago when I felt like I was just clucking around with a bunch of turkeys, LMAO. 

Posted by William Johnson, Retired Real Estate Professional (Retired) over 10 years ago

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