Saturday, February 28, 2015

Snowshoe Hare

The trouble with going for a hike in the snow, without glasses, and with only my phone for a camera - I can barely tell if I've turned the camera on, let alone see what's in the frame. Best I can do is point in the general direction and hope for the best.

I was quite excited to see these tracks yesterday when Jonah I hiked into the bush at the back of the farm. These tracks belong to a Snowshoe Hare. They are easy to distinguish from other rabbits because hind feet (which are at the front of the tracks) are very wide. Their feet are also very long but they tend to walk on the tips of the hind feet unless walking slowly.

The reason this was exciting it that its the first time in quite a few years that I've seen sign of these hares. The traditional habitation on this farm was cottontail bunnies around the homestead, jack rabbits in the fields and laneways, and snowshoe hare hares deep in the back woods.

With the waxing of coyote population I stopped seeing hare tracks altogether, and last winter there were rarely rabbit tracks of any kind to be found.

This winter the cottontail tracks have returned to the homestead, the jacks to the back lanes, and now the hares in the bush. Horrah! This means coyote population is waning.

For a sheep farmer....that's a good thing!

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