It may be Friday the 13th, but we think this 'tail' from Nature's Home reader, Roy Briggs will give you plenty to smile about (photo courtesy of Roy Briggs).
Brown hares (Lepus europaeus) are renowned for their phenomenal powers of acceleration (up to 45mph), but will often sit tight to the ground when a predator approaches - luckily for Nature's Home reader, Roy Briggs - this bronzed beauty refrained from displaying either trait on a recent trip to Crowle, Scunthorpe. Roy says:
"I was lucky enough to spot this gorgeous hare laid on scrubland yesterday relaxing in the sunshine. Very well camouflaged against the bronzed bracken and brown grasses, keeping its long ears laid back so as to remain hidden. I was able to snap away and creep closer for 10 minutes or so - it was an awesome experience and produced my best ever shots of this fabulous creature at the age of 80! It even did a spot of grooming as a bonus."
Thanks Roy, you've inspired an uplift at HQ today - bolstering the mantra that 'you're never too old' to get up and get out there, ticking off some photography firsts from the wish list whilst you're at it - superb!
The brown hare was thought to have been introduced to Britain by the Romans around 2000 years ago - usually found in open, agricultural grassland but occasionally spotted in open woodland and heathland too. Hares do not hibernate so they need a good supply of food all year. They are a largely nocturnal species, spending most of the day sheltering in small depressions in the ground among long grass called 'forms'. They feed on a range of plants, with a preference for the young shoots of grasses. The adults breed from February-September and females can rear three or four litters a year. Courtship involves boxing and this well-known "mad March hare" behaviour actually involves unreceptive females fending off passionate males.
If you want to know more about the wonderful world of hares, check out RSPB spotlight: hares, by Nancy Jennings.
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