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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Outdoors blog

Early bird skier has hare-raising encounter at Mount Spokane

WILDLIFE WATCHING -- Being first out on the Mount Spokane cross-country skiing trails before sunrise paid off this morning. After catching my attention with tracks it had made during the night, I had a pleasant undisturbed few moments with a snowshoe hare.
A very cool critter.
What is the difference between a hare and a rabbit? I'm glad you asked:
Differences in the physical features of hares and rabbits include:
  • Hares are generally larger and faster than rabbits.
  • Hares have longer ears and larger feet than rabbits.
  • Hares have black markings on their fur.
  • Rabbits are altricial i.e. having young that are born blind and hairless. In contrast, hares are generally born with hair and are able to see (precocial). Young hares are therefore able to fend for themselves very quickly after birth.
  • A young hare is called a leveret and a young rabbit is called a kitten, kit, or, least correct but very commonly, a bunny.
  • Hares have very long and strong hind legs, more so than rabbits.
  • Rabbits' brown summer fur is replaced with fur that is more grey. Hares, especially those living in cold, snowy regions, turn white in the winter.
  • Hunters say that hare has a much stronger, gamier flavor than rabbit (which actually does taste like a milder version of chicken).


  • Rabbits and hares both molt and then grow new hair. This happens in both the spring and in the fall.
  • Both rabbits and hares have short tails.

Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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