Jock is over the moon that mountain hares are starting to make a come back on Bennachie.
Mountain hares are only found on high ground, they like heather moorland best. They also use patches of woodland like conifer plantations for cover.
They are nocturnal, meaning they are active at night. They rest during the day.
They are smaller than brown hares. Like brown hares the females are slightly bigger than the males. However, unlike brown hares, the ears of the mountain hare wouldn’t reach the tip of the nose if pulled forward.
They have 3 moults of their coats, and during the second, from October-January the coat changes from russet brown to white or grey, then back to brown from February-May.
This winter camouflage is brilliant in the snow, but in mild conditions they stand out in the heather. This is when Jock worries for them , especially as foxes, stoats, and wildcats will hunt them.
What do Mountain Hare Eat?
Mountain hares love to eat short, young heather, but if they have to they will eat older, woody plants. They will also feed on gorse willow, birch, rowan and juniper. In summer they prefer grasses.
About Mountain Hare Breeding
Females tend to have 3 litters of babies per year, 1-4 leverets are born in each litter, all furry and with their eyes open. The mum suckles them for about 4 weeks till they become independent.
I love mountain hares’ furry feet, they get even furrier in winter-they’re brilliant for helping them not to sink into the soft deep snow!
Watch this great video about mountain hares.
If you’d like to find out more about mountain hares have a look at Mountain (or Irish) Hare information.
Jock's Winter Jokes
How does a penguin build a house?
Igloos it together!
What does Bennachie wear to keep warm?
This is part of the Winter Wildllife information.