Skip to content

Hippity-Hoppity…

In honor of the upcoming Easter holiday, an Everglades bunny for you!

True to its name, the marsh rabbit is found in the marshes and swamps of the Eastern and Southern United States. Our marsh rabbits — not to be confused with the larger swamp rabbits of Alabama through Texas — are delicate little things. Those on the Florida peninsula, and in South Florida in particular, weigh only 2-3 pounds, reaching a total length of 17 inches. “Mainland” (non-Florida) marsh rabbits run noticeably larger.

Florida’s marsh rabbits have shorter ears, and smaller legs than the swamp rabbits and cottontails — and instead of a bushy, cottonball-tail, the tail forms a tuft. They’re also darker in coloration than eastern cottontails.

Marsh Rabbit, Florida Wetlands

Marsh rabbit on alert in the Florida wetlands

What’s so interesting about our marsh rabbits, as their name signifies, is their proclivity to water — swimming often and well, sometimes for long distances. It’s common to see them in the shallow waters of our wetlands scrounging for food (note the wet legs of the guy above). Another interesting feature of marsh rabbits is that they walk on all fours, like a cat — ensuring easy and swift negotiation of the dense marshes and the surrounding vegetation. Their preferred habitats are the brackish and freshwater marshes, mangrove swamps, and sandy islands. These rabbits must have access to water, remaining on high ground and in the thick vegetation for protection from predators including alligators, snakes, bobcats, foxes, coyotes, and birds of prey. They’re most active at dusk and at night, eating the abundant wetland and aquatic plants.

Marsh Rabbit, Florida Wetlands

There honestly couldn’t be anything more adorable than a Marsh rabbit baby. Just try.

They’re truly adorable little things…. And the baby marsh rabbits? Cuteness factor through the roof. I like to call them *all* swamp bunnies though, much to the chagrin of uptight naturalists who may be listening in on my insanity. But it’s hard not to envision fae around these critters, helping us occasionally close-minded humans love and appreciate their, and Nature’s beauty, all the more.

Marsh Rabbit, Florida Wetlands

Poor Marsh rabbit burr-face

57 Comments Post a comment
  1. How interesting that they swim and yes, that baby is cuteness deluxe – adorable!

    March 29, 2013
    • It really is a hoot to see them in the water — usually I see them in the wetlands or swamp, in the low waters. 🙂

      That baby is just too much, honestly!!

      March 29, 2013
  2. Aw, the burr… Love the little creatures and happy they have place to thrive. Your post is a beautiful wake up company for me. They are lagomorphs?
    Ella Wheeler Wilcox brings me to the end of my reply with tears in my eyes. I see that there will always be those of us who care deeply.
    Hello!

    March 29, 2013
    • Hee, I had to look it up… But that’s indeed their Order! Aren’t they the sweetest, most unusual little guys?

      I just love that quote of hers… Every time I see it, it hits right to my heart and soul.

      March 29, 2013
      • Thank you for sharing it, too. I feel it, as you do. Glorious!

        March 29, 2013
  3. I’ve always found it interesting that there are so many unique subspecies in Florida (Florida panther, Key deer, etc.) It makes it that much more important to protect them, since they occur nowhere else on the planet.

    But, like everywhere else, habitat is the key to protecting a species. We need more land set aside for conservation.

    March 29, 2013
    • You’re exactly right, on all points — this area is home to such a unique collection of sub-species; MANY of which are threatened or of special concern.

      And protecting the land which is SO critical to their survival has proven to be a real challenge for this state. I hope it’s getting better, but developers still have much power.

      March 31, 2013
  4. How cute. Once again you have enlightened me. I have never heard of this bun.

    March 29, 2013
    • Ah, I’m so glad to share our Marsh rabbits! They’re such interesting and adorable little guys. 🙂

      March 31, 2013
  5. They are so much cuter than cottontails, hard to believe, but they are!

    March 29, 2013
    • They really are sweet little things… I know ALL bunnies are cute, but I just love these guys! 🙂

      March 31, 2013
  6. I wouldn’t have guessed the water angle.

    March 29, 2013
    • It’s still a hoot to see them in the waters; I always watch for gators when I see them.

      March 31, 2013
  7. Soooo cute! Gotta love the always adorable Mr. Bunny!
    We used to have rabbits all over the place, but this Spring none. However…we have been seeing more coyotes. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

    March 29, 2013
    • Aren’t they the sweetest guys? Interesting — I haven’t been seeing as many rabbits in my area, too! Hmmm….

      March 31, 2013
  8. Pat #

    Enjoyed your pictures and your post. I agree they’re truly adorable little things. Have a Happy Easter — hippity-hoppity! 🙂

    March 29, 2013
    • Thanks so much! I can never get enough of these little ones. Always the sweetest little things!

      Happy Easter to you — thank you!!

      March 31, 2013
  9. Hoppity Hop! Happy Easter to you, your family and woodland friends.

    March 29, 2013
    • Ah, thanks so very much! And right back at ya. Happy Easter to you and yours! (Two- and four-leggeds!)

      March 31, 2013
  10. I’ll have to agree with you on this one, FeyGirl. Nothing cuter than that fellow. I bet he’s akin to the Easter Bunny! ❤

    March 29, 2013
    • They’re the sweetest little things, aren’t they? I just love seeing them in our wetlands and swamps… And the babies. Sigh!!

      🙂

      March 31, 2013
  11. There is no such thing as an un-cute bunny, and your marsh rabbits are no exception. I had no idea there were bunnies who love water! Fascinating.

    March 29, 2013
    • You’re so right!! That’s just not possible, finding an un-cute bunny…. 🙂

      It IS funny seeing these guys (still) in the waters. I always look out for the gators when I see them, sweet little things.

      March 31, 2013
  12. Christina, I had no idea this cute Marsh Rabbit bunny even existed. Thanks so much for introducing it to me!!

    March 29, 2013
    • Ah, I’m so glad to introduce you to this sweetheart! They’re such cute little guys, and an interesting species. I love seeing them out and about. 🙂

      March 31, 2013
  13. They’re so really cute!

    March 29, 2013
    • They really are adorable little guys… Especially in person! 🙂

      March 31, 2013
  14. Thanks so much for this wonderful post! I had no idea there were marsh rabbit – I don’t suppose they feed on marsh mallows, now do they? 😉 Happy Easter!

    March 29, 2013
    • Hahahahah!!!

      Man… I’m so horrible at jokes. See, that would have been PERFECT! Still smiling.

      Hope you’re having a lovely Easter!! 🙂

      March 31, 2013
  15. Yes, that little one is as cute as it gets! I enjoyed seeing these because I had never seen a marsh rabbit. This winter we have had a cottontail living under our log deck though.

    March 29, 2013
    • The babies are really just too much cute to handle, honestly. 🙂

      Ah, a companion cottontail! Did you feed him/her?

      March 31, 2013
  16. I was really surprised that swamp bunnies move like a cat. They do look adorable. 🙂

    When I was in Scotland I saw “beach bunnies” — probably regular bunnies who just happened to be on the beach. Anyway they were munching away at seaweed on the beach which struck this landlocked Ohioan as odd.

    March 30, 2013
    • They really do negotiate the swamps and wetlands like a cat…. I watch them often. There’s no possible way they could *hop* around that muck!

      Ah, interesting!! Well, these guys are often in beach-y environments too. I wonder if what you saw is a similar sub-species as our Marsh rabbit!!

      March 31, 2013
      • I finally got a photo of a rabbit standing up! It was so odd-looking that I immediately thought of your walking-like-cats rabbits. http://www.flickr.com/photos/debplatt/8621140149/

        April 5, 2013
      • Oh I love!!!

        I need to get one in motion in the swamps to show you… I haven’t SEEN many this year, though! Very odd. 😦 But I’ll make a concerted effort to get one creeping for you, like a kitty.

        I love this hare!

        April 9, 2013
  17. Interesting and instructive text ! And your photos … So lovely, especially the one of the little Marsh rabbit baby . // Maria

    March 30, 2013
    • Thanks so much! I adore these bunnies…. Such an interesting sub-species. And the babies, the sweetest things ever! 🙂

      March 31, 2013
  18. Val #

    Lovely to see these marsh bunnies! 17 inches of the ‘normal’ ones seems pretty large to me… unfortunately it’s always open season on rabbits here, so they rarely get to a normal size (though we do have a wild one that visits our garden on occasion that my husband and I call ‘Gigabun’ that is huge and obviously old enough to be huge!)

    Glad you posted this, I’d never really thought about different types and locations of rabbits. Such cute little young ‘uns too. 🙂

    Sorry I’ve not been around here much, haven’t been well. Hope to do better later.

    March 30, 2013
    • Ah, I hope you return to health soon enough! Sending good vibes your way….

      These guys are such an interesting species — there are many fascinating sub-species down here, and this is a perfect example.

      But yes, I imagine you, in the land of B. Potter, have your share of bunnies, heh! I’d be in heaven. 🙂

      March 31, 2013
      • Val #

        Thanks! Oh and – in the land of Beatrix Potter. Yes. 🙂

        March 31, 2013
  19. Reblogged this on LivingWithHealthyOutlook.

    March 30, 2013
  20. Hmmmm … no cotton tail and short ears…. hoppy Easter to you.

    March 30, 2013
    • Heh, but they’re still the most adorable little critters! 🙂 Hope you’re having a hoppy Easter too, thank you!!

      March 31, 2013
  21. So very sweet! 🙂 Hoppy, happy Easter!

    March 30, 2013
    • They’re SO incredibly sweet. 🙂 Hope you’re having a hoppy happy Easter, too — THANK you!!

      March 31, 2013
  22. Such cute bunnies ! I want one !!!

    March 31, 2013
    • They are seriously the sweetest little things…. 🙂

      March 31, 2013
  23. What adorable little creatures! How fascinating that they walk on all fours, like a cat…

    April 2, 2013
    • They really are the sweetest little things… And it’s great to see them negotiate the swamps / marshes. There’s no possible way they’d be able to hop around that muck! 🙂

      April 4, 2013
  24. Another amazing post FeyGirl! And again all the great interesting facts I never knew about a marsh rabbit and the babies!! My son and I are going to study this together! Thank you so much. Rabbits that swim and walk like cats! Sharon

    April 9, 2013
    • Ah, thanks so very much! I adore our marsh rabbits… They really are adorable little things, and just a fascinating sub-species. 🙂

      April 11, 2013
  25. I love your images and the watermark!

    May 9, 2013
    • Thanks so very much! 🙂

      I love your handle… At first, upon waking up, I read it as “my kid shave 4 legs.” Caffeine obviously hadn’t hit!

      May 9, 2013

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. The Garden Wars (part 2) | My Blog
  2. The Garden Wars (part 2) | Dan's Blog
  3. The Garden Wars (part 2) | Danroberson's Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: