Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Antelope Jack Rabbit in Saguaro NP

1. antelope JR_0188-kab Antelope Jack Rabbit on Mica View Road in Saguaro NP east 9-30-12

I already knew when Chris and I saw this Jack Rabbit alongside the dirt road to Mica View Picnic area that we were seeing something pretty special. I mean, we both love animals and photography, and it was made even more special because this was Chris’ first time seeing a jack rabbit even though he has lived in Tucson for 17 years, but I had no idea just How special it was. As I was writing yesterday’s post I did some research to confirm that the jack rabbit we saw was a “Black-tailed” jack rabbit, which is the one I am most familiar with. Since this was my first jack rabbit after having returned from the east, I just assumed it was a black-tail having never bothered to really read the description of one. While Chris and I were observing this rabbit, we were joking about the westerners who tease eastern greenhorns about the “jack-a-lopes,” rabbits that are so large that they look like the cross between a jack rabbit and an antelope. Some postcards sold here in the west even depict this mythical creature with antlers and a saddle on its back! After seeing this large rabbit, Chris and I could see how easy it would be to come to that conclusion! This rabbit was huge with long legs and even longer ears!

2. Antelope JR DSC_0190-kab 

As I started to read about the two varieties of Jack Rabbits seen here in the Sonoran Desert I started to compare the descriptions with the photos I had taken. It seems that the Black-tailed Jack Rabbit is more commonly seen. It has black tipped ears that are smaller and a black-tipped tail. The Antelope Jack Rabbit is larger with larger pale ears and no black on the tail. It also has a white patch on its flanks which it can flash when alarmed.

3. DSC_0191-kab 

Antelope Jack Rabbit

With ears as long as a mule’s

eyes as soft as a doe,

legs like an antelope

and feet like paddles

you nibble on desert grass

in the cool of the Sonoran evening

then bound away

in one hop!

~Kathie Adams Brown (October 1, 2012)

4. ears_0192-kab Just look at those long pale ears!


5. Tail end of JR_0193-kab No black tail as this rabbit runs away!

Other Antelope Jack Rabbit Facts:

  • Antelope Jack Rabbits can run up to 35 mph
  • They are crepuscular (which means active at dawn and dusk)
  • They rarely drink water getting most of their moisture from their food
  • They weigh between 6-13 lbs (the black-tailed weighs between 3-8 lbs)
  • They are actually a hare
  • Male Antelope jack Rabbits box each other like male kangaroos when vying for a female

Links I consulted:

Well, I learned that it pays to do your research! So, congrats Chris! You not only saw a Jack Rabbit, you saw an Antelope Jack Rabbit!


  1. ...an amazing rabbit! Reminds me of a hare...

  2. Carole's right, he looks like a cross between our Hare and Rabbit. Great images Kathie.

    1. Thanks Roy! It was fun and exciting doing the research on this one!

  3. I knew it was cool from the first time we laid eyes on it. I had no idea that it was a rare spotting.....and we had a nice view of the guy as well. I'm thinking this weekend we might spot a unicorn.....or maybe a dragon. These treks are so much fun and are the highlights of my week. Thanks for researching this....I had thought there were only two rabbits in our desert....and now come to find out....there's more:)

  4. Hi Katie...Fabulous shot's .he is an amazing creature, thanks for posting the information to!!
    Are you missing us back here...we just had a 4.5 earthquake!
    Scared the living daylights out of me..felt as far as places in N.Y.! Cell phones where not working for a lot of people!!
    Scary do you miss us now!!
    Thanks for your comments on my posts! : }

  5. Wow, Kathie, thank you for sharing pictures of this incredible critter. Those ears, those eyes - what a beauty.

  6. Kathie, what a great post and sighting. Those ears are so cute! I loved the photos too.

  7. I learned something new today, thank you! Quite a sight those Antelope Jack Rabbits. I've never seen such long ears before. Awesome photographs, Kathie!

  8. He's a handsome one, lovely learning about the Jack Rabbit today. It would be fun taking photos of him and yours are great. Thanks Kathy!

  9. He's wonderful! Now I am curious which kind of jackrabbit I have seen before in TX! Don't think I've seen any jackrabbits since here and I will be on the lookout and am glad to know there are two types. Thanks so much!


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