Rabbit’s can live almost anywhere they are able to dig burrows. Their natural habitats include woods, meadows, forests, farmland, grassland, moorlands, salt marshes, embankments, sand dunes and cliffs. Empty cliff burrows are often taken over by nesting puffins and shearwaters.
Rabbits, being sociable animals, live in groups or colonies, in burrow systems known as warrens. The warren can be 3 meters in depth and cover a large area with many entrances.
The warren is dug with interconnecting tunnels running off in all directions containing living quarters, nesting areas, bolt runs and emergency exits.
Usually a dominant doe within the colony will fight other does for the best nesting site. Dominant rabbits are the most successful at breeding.
Dominant bucks run up and down boundary lines marking their territory by depositing droppings, scratching out shallow scrapes or rubbing their chin in the ground, marking their area with scent from their glands.
Subordinate or lesser ranking rabbits do not establish a territory and will be warned off if they venture into the territory of a dominant rabbit. They do, however, mix happily with other subordinate rabbits.
Rabbits are mainly nocturnal. Much of the day is spent underground, resting and passing soft, dark droppings which are eaten to extract more nourishment from them. The rabbits then produce hard, pellet-like droppings above ground. This keeps living areas free of droppings.
Usually only coming out of their burrows at dawn and dusk, wild rabbits can, however, be spotted in broad daylight on warm, sunny days, or in undisturbed places.
Whether its dawn, dusk or even during the day, this adult rabbit will be grazing close to its warren
Rabbits graze and feed close to their warren. You may see areas where the vegetation is shorter than surrounding areas.
Wild rabbits keep themselves clean by washing regularly and grooming, using their teeth, tongue and claws.
The rabbit is a prey animal and has many enemies. They have a remarkably wide field of vision and can naturally see over a wide area including a good deal of overhead scanning.
Always on the alert for danger, if a rabbit spots danger, it will warn others by thumping with a hind foot. The flash of white from under its tail as it runs for its burrow also acts as an alarm signal.
If confronted by a potential threat, a rabbit may freeze and observe, then warn others in the warren with powerful thumps on the ground.
They survive predators by burrowing, hopping away in a zig- zag motion, and, if captured, delivering powerful kicks with their hind legs. Their strong teeth allow them to eat and to bite in order to escape a struggle.