What's the difference between Hares and Rabbits?

Hares and Rabbits are commonly confused with each other! They are very similar in appearance but their behaviour is quite different. If you get the chance, spend a little time watching what they’re up to!

What to look out for

Hares tend to be a bigger animal than rabbits with larger ears and longer back legs that allow them to sprint quickly. They rely on their speed to defend against predation from their ground level nests where as rabbits spend the day underground in burrows.

Rabbits live in colonies where as hares are not social and only pair up during breeding season. If you see several animals in the same area, it is likely to be rabbits rather than hares.

Whereas rabbits tend to be a uniform colour, hares have distinctive black marks over their body, more notably on their ears. Rabbits keep their colouration throughout the year where as hares become paler, in some cases almost white, during the winter months.

Still need more information?

Visit The Hare Preservation Trust for more information on brown hare in the UK. 


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