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hare Brown Hares

Identify It >   Mammals Section >   Brown Hares >

Scientific name:  Lepus capensis

Size:  Grows to approx 55cm.  The females are usually slightly heavier/larger than the males.  Adults weigh up to 4kg

Distribution:  Not common, but found in most parts of Britain.  Rare in Ireland, and absent from the Scottish Highlands

Months seen:  All year round

Life span:  Up to 4 years

Habitat:  Mainly found on agricultural land, especially in pasture fields and cereal crop fields.  Sometimes in wodland and heathland.

Food:  Grasses, cereals and other low growing vegetation

Special features:  Brown hares have long ears with black tips, and they have longer legs than rabbits.  They are the fastest land mammal in the UK.  Their long back legs allow them to run at speeds of up to 45mph.

They are most active early in the morning or late in the evening which is the best time to spot them.  During the daytime they remain hidden by lying down in fields with their ears flat along their backs.

In March and April, hares exhibit more energy, and can be seen leaping about, and rushing around in wild chases.

Hares breed at any time of the year.  They produce a litter of up to three young which are called 'leverets'.

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