A solitary and secretive bird, the Green Heron is stocky, dark colored, and small for a heron. The adult Green Heron has a dark rufous neck, gray belly, and dark, iridescent, greenish-blue back. The upper mandible of the bill is dark, and the legs are bright orange. The juvenile has a brown-and-white streaked neck, slight crest on its dark head, and prominently light-tipped wing coverts. Yellow spectacle-shaped markings surround the eye and extend to the bridge of the bill. These markings are present, but less pronounced, in the adult.
Eastern cottontails belong to the Leporidae family (rabbit and hare family). Cottontails are easy to identify by their long ears, large back feet, and small tails that are white on the underside. They have buff to brownish gray fur with white undersides. Cottontails typically weigh two to four pounds and are fully grown by six months of age.
The only mammal in Illinois that might be confused with the cottontail is the Swamp Rabbit (Sylvilagus aquaticus). In Illinois, the swamp rabbit is found only in the southern counties. Swamp rabbits are similar in appearance to the cottontail but are larger and have darker, reddish- brown fur. Swamp rabbits are found in thickets or woods bordering swamps and are very good swimmers.
Did you know?
Eastern cottontail rabbits are lagomorphs not rodents.
One female cottontail rabbit may have 20 to 25 young per year.
I took this photo a few years ago in Muir Woods north of San Francisco. Originally taken in color, I really like the way it looks in B&W better. This Park is really a cool place and well worth a visit!
Muir Woods National Monument is a unit of the National Park Service on the Pacific coast of southwestern Marin County, California, 12 miles north of San Francisco and part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It protects 554 acres, of which 240 acres are old growth Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) forests, one of a few such stands remaining in the San Francisco Bay Area.