Photo Contest Home
Eastern Cottontail rabbit in Spring molt exhibiting "freeze" defense mechanism.
Photographer: Sue Lawrence
Location: lake's edge full of grasses and clover (Lake Heather in Inverness) Birmingham, AL
Story: 
This Eastern Cottontail Rabbit (Sylvilagus floridanus) was spotted near the edge of the lake behind my apartment complex. When I noticed it, this rabbit was already in its "freeze" mode as a defense mechanism, having already identified me as a probable predator. Interesting that it did this, since "freezing" in the midst of bright green grasses just made me notice it all the more, since its coat did not provide sufficient camouflage in this situation. This individual was going through a Spring molt at the time, noted by the short reddish-brown hairs on its face, neck, and body just past its front leg area. You can even see what appears to be a dividing line, showing where the molt is in process. The winter coat it's shedding contains longer hairs, with more black and gray intermingled with the brown--more suited for warmth and blending in with a winter environment. And yes, this individual did have that characteristic white cottontail, too.
Digital Alterations: 
Scene changed to "cloudy" then brightness decreased to -8%. Contrast adjusted by 12%. Photo sharpened by 20%. No cropping done and no changes made to color saturation.
Camera Information: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300, 20.4 mega pixels, 50x Optical Zoom
Special Equipment: