Eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) in Myrtle Beach, SC

Eastern cottontail
(Sylvilagus floridanus)

Beach Bunnies

By Henry H. Mitchell, July 4, 2010.

Fairly frequently we spot rabbits in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Sometimes one is making its way among the sea oats of the oceanfront dunes. Others are seen farther inland. Typically, they appear in the early morning or late afternoon. Wisely, they take cover in the heat of the day.

Theoretically, one might identify a Marsh Rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris) or a Swamp Rabbit (Sylvilagus aquaticus) in Myrtle Beach, but so far we have not. All the bunnies of our experience are Eastern Cottontails.

The accompanying photograph was taken this week in the grassy area between Pelican and Hemlock Avenues. This fine specimen appeared to be an adolescent and, surprisingly, allowed the photographer to get almost with reach. Also visible at times, within the same area, were a large pregnant female, a slightly smaller adult (probably a male), and two very small young rabbits, their ears barely above the tops of the grass, who amused themselves by chasing each other with wild abandon. We assume that they may be all one extended family. Probably there is a fur-lined-pit-in-the-sand baby-bunny-nursery somewhere, tucked inside one of the several dense shrubbery clumps nearby.

This guide to Myrtle Beach is sponsored by Mitchells Publications.