Very long black-tipped ears. Long limbs and powerful hind legs. Red-brown fur, with orange-brown flanks and a black-topped tail. Yellow flecking to the fur. Thick, downy undercoat and long, coarse hair on top. Eyes are a dark, rich amber colour in young, which lightens with age. Head and body length 55cm. Adult weight 3.7kg (females) and 3.3kg (males).
Download a printable field sign guide here!
Their footprints are distinctive by the position of their feet. Their long hind feet are parallel and the fore feet are often between them, depending on speed of travel. Width 2.5cm, length 3.5cm.
Brown hare often leave droppings on bare ground on farmland and edges of grassland. They are larger and more flattened than the rabbit (1.5cm-2cm in diameter). They can vary, depending on the diet.
Colour: greenish brown
Smell: sweet smelling, like a damp digestive biscuit with a hint of mown hay.
Widespread across UK with the exception of northern Scotland. Most commonly found in eastern England: Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire. Small population in Northern Ireland, as mostly occupied by Irish/mountain hare. (Maps are based on expert advice, as of 2007. Some species ranges may have changed in the time since. We are currently in the process of updating the maps.)
Eats grasses, herbs and arable crops (particularly young cereals but also maize, peas, beans, sugar beat and ears of cereals). Wild grasses and herbs preferred to cultivated forms.
3-4 years on average.
Mountain Hare (Lepus timidus)
Shorter ears than brown hare. Eyes brown whilst brown hare has amber eyes. Mountain hare has pale grey body colour in summer, or white in winter, with tail all white, whilst brown hare is brown with orange/brown sides all year round and a black top to the tail.
Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)
Rabbit is smaller than the brown hare, with shorter limbs. Ears are shorter and lack the black tips that the brown hare has. Rabbits have brown eyes, whilst the hare has distinctive amber eyes.