Prince William County Wildlife - Mammals

Prince William County is home to a wide array of state animals, some as common as a fawn feeding on your backyard azaleas. Wildlife viewing is a pastime that can be enjoyed in any season, in any corner of the county, by any age group. Unlike some activities, special equipment is not required. Wildlife watchers need to come equipped only with a sense of appreciation for the state's living resources and the knowledge of where to look for them. With patience, dedicated viewers may be rewarded with the sight of rarely-seen species.

 

  • Trails are open dawn to dusk
  • Pets must remain on a leash and pet waste is to be disposed of properly
  • Motorized vehicles are prohibited
  • Leave no trace

 

   

 


Name

Description
Cottontail Rabbit Appearance
  • At only 15 to 19 inches in length and approximately 28 to 54 oz., the cottontail rabbit is quite small. They get their name from the tiny, cotton ball-like tails that stand out well against their brown speckled bodies. The cottontail rabbit also has long, perky ears, big black eyes and large hind legs that help them dash away from predators.
     
Habitat
  • Cottontail rabbits tend to make homes in the country where they have freedom to run around and plenty of vegetation to snack on. You may find them in more populated areas but this isn't their preferred habitat and is actually a dangerous place to be. (In fact, hundreds get hit by cars every year). The cottontail rabbit can be found across most of the United States including the East Coast, mountainous areas, the Midwest, the South and even out West. Farms with plenty of produce and woods to hide in nearby are their favorite places to live.
     
     
     
Raccoon The raccoons' procyonid relatives are members of the order Carnivora, which includes dogs, cats, and bears. The intelligence and dexterity of a raccoon is such that it can pick an avocado from a tree, aim, and throw it at a barking dog. Door knobs that can be turned -- without locks -- are no obstacle for a raccoon to open. Some raccoons seem to possess enough natural intelligence to follow the action events of what they see portrayed on television. North American Indians called the raccoon -- aroughcun -- which translates, "he who scratches with his hands."
White Tail
Deer
The deer's coat is a reddish-brown in the spring and summer and turns to a grey-brown throughout the fall and winter. The deer can be recognized by the characteristic white underside to its tail, which it shows as a signal of alarm by raising the tail during escape. There is a population of white-tailed deer in the state of New York that is entirely white (except for areas like their noses and toes)—not albino—in color. The former Seneca Army Depot in Romulus, New York, has the largest known concentration of white deer. Strong conservation efforts have allowed white deer to thrive within the confines of the depot. Size and weight The white-tailed deer is highly variable in size, generally following Bergmann's rule that the average size is larger further away from the Equator. North American male deer (also known as a buck or stag) usually weighs 60 to 130 kg (130 to 290 lb) but, in rare cases, bucks in excess of 159 kg (350 lb) have been recorded.