Rabbits and hares
#funfactfriday Hoppy Easter! Even though rabbits and hares are are closely related, did you know there are some very distinct differences between them?
Hares are often larger than rabbits, with proportionately larger ears and legs. Rabbits live socially in burrows while hares live alone in above ground nesting areas. Here in the Okanagan and Similkameen, we have both. The little Nuttall's Cottontails (pictured) that you might see in the grasslands are a type of rabbit, and the elusive Snowshoe Hares that live in the mountains are...well...hares!
Rabbit and hare babies are also very different. Because they have safety underground, rabbit babies (called kits) are born blind and helpless, whereas baby hares (or leverets) are born fully mobile and alert as they are more out in the open and must be able to evade threats.
The Okanagan and Similkameen valleys were once also home to White-tailed Jackrabbits, however this species is now considered to be Extirpated, meaning it has disappeared from our region but can still be found elsewhere.