Hi guys! Today is the start of the winter animal series! I will be posting a winter animal every day until Christmas Eve, when I’ll do a special surprise. I am also doing a corresponding book post on Book Bliss, where I will put several book recommendations that go with the animal I will be discussing. Check out my post on Book Bliss here for snowshoe hare books!
Hares vs. Rabbits
The difference between a hare and a rabbit has always confused me. Hares are larger with longer hind legs and ears. Hares change their fur color from brown or grey in the summer to white in the winter, while rabbits do not. Hares make their nests above ground, and rabbits make burrows underground.
Now, on to the snowshoe hare. Snowshoe hares are brown in the summer to camouflage with dirt rocks and foliage, and in the winter, they are white to blend in with the snow.
Baby hares are called leverets. Leverets can actually start walking around in their nest within the time that it takes their fur to dry.
Snowshoe hares can be found in the forests of the Rocky Mountains, the Appalachian Mountains, the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Canada and New England.
Snowshoe hares are herbivores, so they eat mostly plants like grass, new tree growth and flowers. They are also nocturnal (I keep inadvertently choosing nocturnal creatures).
They don’t live long, so their life span is between one and five years.
They are called snowshoe hares because they have large hind feet that act as snowshoes and keep them above the snow.
The main predators of the snowshoe hare are lynx, foxes, cayotes, and some birds of prey. Another predator of the snowshoe hare is humans. They can be hunted in many parts of the United States and Canada. According to the IUCN red list, they are of least concern and stable. With less snow in some areas of their range, they are being forced to move north.