Mountain Hare in Scottish Borders
Mountain Hare (Lepus timidus)
Unlike brown hares and rabbits, mountain hares are native to Britain. They live on moorlands nibbling on heather, grasses, rush and sedge.
Mountain hares change colour in winter from dappled shades of brown to white, which keeps them camouflaged against the snow. Leverets (baby hares) are vulnerable to foxes, stoats and birds of prey.
Mountain hares are mostly nocturnal and spend the day resting in scrapes high on the moor.
Mountain hares give birth between March and July producing 1-4 litters. A female can be pursued by many males during the mating season and may be seen boxing the males particularly during the spring months. Leverets are left alone for long periods in order to protect them from foxes and other predators. If you find a baby hare whilst out walking please leave it alone, its mother will return.
Photographs courtesy of: Top winter coat SNH Image Library, Bottom summer coat Stuart Scott Images