A Rabbit’s Tail is a Sign

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My thanks to Dana and Carol Elmer for their fascinating observation and email:

For years, my wife and I would walk a two mile route nearly daily that took us through the Arizona desert in an area richly populated with cottontail rabbits.

I noticed that the rabbits’ tails invariably tilted to point in the direction of the danger (us). If the rabbit scurried off to the left, the tail pointed toward us. If the same rabbit turned to the right, the tail turned also. I believe this phenomenon is an example of the rabbits’ silent communication with others which might not be aware of the approaching danger.

Thanks Dana and Carol. Whilst I was aware of the way many animals, including rabbits and deer, ‘flag’ danger with their white tails or rumps, I haven’t noticed any directional clues in rabbits’ tails. Have you?


I have written a chapter about the signs we find in animals’ heads and tails in my book, Wild Signs and Star Paths (The Nature Instinct in the US).

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