Nature Feature: Eastern Cottontails
Eastern cottontails have two fur coats each year. In the summertime, their fur is short and brown. In the winter, their fur is longer and more gray. Only the white belly and white underside of their tail are the same year-round.
This common rabbit species lives in a variety of habitats, but prefers areas that provide rich foraging opportunities. Cottontails generally live in one area their entire lives, but will relocate if there is not food or too many predators. They are very territorial and solitary animals and will chase other rabbits out of their home range. They are most active at night and have exceptional hearing, vision, and sense of smell.
Cottontails protect themselves from predators by being able to run quickly (up to 18 miles per hour) and by deciding which move will be most effective to escape. That might mean slinking away, freezing to hide, or flushing, which is when they quickly run in a zig-zag to reach a hiding area. Learn about other animals and plants on the MY LAND page.
March 1 - May 31 create an illustrated story or comic strip inspired by something in nature that is special to you and something that you have done or seen in Indiana. Click here to learn more and how you can participate!
Eagle Creek Park
Eagle Creek has a wide variety of organized recreation and nature opportunities. There are shelters available to rent, playgrounds, miles of hiking trails, two State Nature Preserves, soccer fields, rentable garden plots, fishing, biking, boating - the options are almost endless!
With the Earth Discovery Center and Ornithology Center, visitors can take advantage of the public programs offered throughout the year including live bird of prey programs, weekend and evening hikes, owl and frog programs, nature discovery classes, art shows, and more. These two centers are also great if you are visiting the park and want to drop in to explore the exhibits and live animal displays, or if your group wants guided field trips at the park or lessons at your school or meeting place.
Dogs are welcome in the park and have the opportunity to run and play in a large fenced field, or if you are looking for adventures for yourself, consider the beach area open June and July, the GoApe TreeTop Adventure, rent a boat or take a guided canoe or kayak tour.
However you like to experience nature, there's a fit for you at Eagle Creek Park! Visit in spring for wildflowers blooming, summer for non-stop activity, fall to watch the leaves change color, or winter to experience the park at when it is more peaceful and less crowded.