There is a gravel parking lot with trees on either side that I pass on my way to work and there are always a couple of cottontail rabbits hanging out under and next to the cars parked there.

Why are they in a gravel parking lot though? There is no grass or water and one would think they would rather be eating than hanging out under someone's car.

  • 1
    Rabbits don't eat all the time. It might be warmer in the parking lot, it is easy to see things-that-might-eat-you coming, and it might be warm and cozy under the car engine bay. In my neighborhood rabbits seem to have a similar attraction to just hanging out in the middle of the road, rather than on the lawns right next to them.
    – Jon Custer
    Mar 6, 2019 at 17:12

1 Answer 1


I have pet house rabbits living in my house and getting on my bed in my experience they prefer harder areas with good traction for resting. Floors are better than beds, carpet is better than hardwood or tile.

I would expect that when you see these rabbits, they have all four feet under them. Ready to bolt.

Being under or near something, provides cover from birds.

Being on solid ground with good traction, make a rapid departure easier

The gravel is going to make noise if a predator (or person) is approaching.

All of this can grant an extra second of escape time, for a dozing rabbit. The difference can be life or death.

One Pair of Rabbits can become 1300 in a year, the fact that the world is not covered in rabbits, is testament to how often they are preyed upon.

Additionally rabbits are crepuscular, being mostly active in the twilight hours of dawn and dusk. This is when they do most of their eating. Other times they rest.

  • 3
    Fully agree. On a mostly unrelated note, "crepuscular" is one of my favorite words.
    – Jon Custer
    Mar 8, 2019 at 3:14
  • 1
    I did rehab for a bird of prey organization for 8 years, and the founder always referred to owls as diurnal, not nocturnal as most people believed. I never double checked and have been using that word wrong for pretty much my entire life. Oops.
    – AHamilton
    Mar 8, 2019 at 15:20

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