A Snowshoe Hare
Nova Scotia only has one wild rabbit species, and it isn’t really a rabbit, it’s a hare.
The snowshoe hare is named because of it’s elongated feet with hairs that act like snowshoes. It goes by the nickname of “Varying Hare” as it has an interesting defence ability – it changes colour in the winter! The image was taken this week of this guy, and if you look carefully, you’ll see a tiny bit of remaining white around its neck and above its shoulder. Snowshoe hares turn white in the late fall, and most times that works well for them, although nowadays we here in NS sometimes don’t have much snow, and an all-white rabbit sitting under a spruce tree in January, with no snow, isn’t hard to miss?
That all makes them a bit skittish during much of the year, but come spring, we seem to have a lawn they like as we have several residents hopping about chewing dandelions and other greens. This guy is quite tame and doesn’t mind our presence in the gardens as he goes about his munching. Of course, that’s also why our vegetable garden has a 4 foot high chicken wire fence completely enclosing it, so as not to have to become a Mr. MacGregor to our little Peter.
Snowshoe hares are able to have up to 4 litters of young each year, and are found in all Provinces in Canada. A truly unique inhabitant of our property.