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Snowshoe Hare Forms


Snowshoe Hares are nocturnal, so coming upon one is a relatively rare occurrence and even when you do they stand stock still and are so well camouflaged they can often escape detection. However, if they live in an area, signs of their presence are usually abundant. Tracks, runways, scat and their reddish-orange urine are quite obvious. A bit more subtle are their forms – protective spots where they rest during the day, often located under conifers branches.

A Snowshoe Hare form is an oval, slightly depressed hollow about the size of the hare that scratched it out of the snow. The lining of the form often consists of snow melted and refrozen from the hare’s body heat. When in their forms, hares usually rest “alertly,” take brief naps and sometimes groom themselves. Often there is a pile of scat in or near a form. The fact that there is a pile, not one or two pellets, means that the hare spent a considerable amount of time there. When the sun begins to set, snowshoe hares leave their form and travel along their runways, feeding on the cambium of accessible woody plants.

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One response

  1. Thanks again for your informative post. Your topic sentence, snowshoe hare are nocturnal is so true. I’ve spent hours hunting snowshoe hare on snowshoes. I have found their track-ways and resting spots but can count on fewer fingers than one hand the number of times I’ve seen this rabbit. However, even when hunting with beagles, I seldom see these; their camouflage is outstanding.

    Last year a couple snowshoe hare moved into a small dense clump of balsam a few feet from my back door. They happily played in the yard all winter. I wonder if they felt safe from coyote close to the house ????

    January 16, 2017 at 8:47 am

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