[ SYLVILAGUS BACHMANI ]
In the late afternoon, about the time bats begin to flit about in the deepening dusk, brush rabbits sally forth from hide-outs located deep in the chaparral of California's coastal mountains and Sierra Nevada foothills. Along trails or meadow edges these small rabbits may be extremely abundant, especially in mid-summer when litters of three to six young venture out for the first time. Because they are the favorite food items of bobcats, foxes and great horned owls, brush rabbits seldom stray more than a couple leaps from the nearest retreat. In this narrow band parallel to the edges of thickets they graze the grasses and flowers down to the ground, creating a distinctive "browse line." Their fear of open spaces severely hampers brush rabbits, and populations may crash when too many rabbits compete for the easily available food.