The eastern cottontail is chunky red-brown or gray-brown in appearance with large hind feet, long ears and a short fluffy white tail. Its underside fur is white. There is a rusty patch on the tail. Its appearance differs from that of a hare in that it has a brownish-gray coloring around the head and neck. The body is lighter color with a white underside on the tail. It has large brown eyes and large ears to see and listen for danger. In winter the cottontail's pelage is more gray than brown. The kits develop the same coloring after a few weeks, but they also have a white blaze that goes down their forehead; this marking eventually disappears. This rabbit measures 36–48 cm (14–19 in) in total length, including a small tail that averages 5.3 cm (2.1 in). Weight can range from 800 to 2,000 g (1.8 to 4.4 lb), with an average of around 1,200 g (2.6 lb). The female tends to be heavier, although the sexes broadly overlap in size.