It is worth noting that these long-eared animals are real vegetarians - they do not even eat insects. In biology textbooks, hares are called herbivores, but their diet includes not only different types of grass, but also shrub twigs, leaves, roots, tubers and berries. Since they do not stock up for the winter, the question arises as to what the hare eats in the forest in extreme cold. When snow falls, the animals choose young trees with soft bark, stand on their hind legs and gnaw it. At this time of the year, hares are trying to keep closer to the fields, where remains of grain crops remain or winter varieties have already been sown. Some individuals are selected closer to rural land, because here you can profit from hay.
In heavy snowfalls or rains, the animals remain in shelters and do not go out in search of food. In order to feed themselves with protein at these moments, they pick up their droppings, which, getting into the digestive tract, are digested like ordinary food.
Some people believe that the hare's favorite delicacy is cabbage, and they even wonder: what does a hare eat in the forest if there are no heads there? In fact, the "eared" have a special love for this vegetable, is a myth. Rather, the hare will give preference to beets, cucumbers and potatoes. There are even cases when "oblique" ruined fields with these cultures.
With the onset of cold weather, hares begin the mating season, and already in February the offspring appears. Since we have figured out what the hare feeds on in winter, it is worth knowing how young hares survive this time of year. After being born, the mother feeds them and immediately goes away for a few days, so as not to attract the predator with its smell (the kids do not emit aromas). After a couple of days, she returns to the next feeding - and again runs away. Babies usually have enough hare milk to last for many hours. After seven days, the crumbs of teeth appear, and after three more they begin to chew weed, which the hare lined up in their fossa.
Hare and man
Some, looking at cute fluffies, try to tame them. But to ensure he has the right care, you need to know what the hare in the forest eats free. It is better not to give the animal the food that is alien to him by nature. Although it is possible to teach the hare to eat meat, it is still not worthwhile to “mock” the herbivore. People who breed these animals have noticed how long-eared love corn. Thanks to this product, the bunny grows up quickly and is not prone to disease. If you keep this animal at home, in the summertime it is worth stocking up on grass that can be dried in the sun, and in the winter - to give to your pet.
Some facts about hares
We learned how the hare lives and how it feeds (hare and hare), but many will It is interesting to know a few facts about these cute animals.
- Hares are very common inhabitants of our planet, they are found in any part of the world, except Antarctica.
- The long ears of the animal help him escape from overheating. Through this "channel" heat is removed from the body. Also during the rain, the animal presses the ears to the body, otherwise, if water gets inside, it will get sick.
- This beast is very hardy. It can maintain a speed of 50 km / h for a long time and at the same time continue to make turns.
- In total there are 45 species of hares, which are divided by zoologists into three groups: kraley, tree hares and real hares.
- Only relatively recently, scientists have assigned the appearance of lagomorphs to these animals. Before that, they were considered a variety of rodents.
- Males live 5 years, females - 9. In captivity, some may become long-livers and endure up to 13 years. At large, hares die young from the paws of predatory animals and rarely live to old age.
- In winter, the animal grows wool near the nose - protection from cold air.
- It is known that the hare is popularly called the “scythe”, but it is not at all cross-eyed. This hare got the nickname because of the manner of movement, because the animal constantly confuses traces.
- Between themselves, "oblique" communicate knocking paws, stuffing them like drumsticks.
- These animals divide the territory, and even during the rescue from the beast of prey, the hare will not run into foreign territory.
- Since the long-eared constantly gnaw the bark, their teeth wear out, but new ones will grow to replace them.
- In the history there is a case when the hare had all the habits of the dog, since the dog was feeding him and raising him. Bunny attacked other dogs and bit.
The structure of the digestive tract
The beast feeds on plants, roots, tree bark. They feed on heavy food, therefore nature has provided the animal with a large cecum, constantly growing teeth. There are no canines; there is an empty space between the incisors and the molars, called diastema. The right and left row of molars are connected by a thin bridge forming a solid bone sky. The upper jaw of the animals has 2 pairs of incisors: large in front, small with small incisors behind. The teeth are constantly growing to grind the incisors, the animal is forced to nibble.
The stomach consists of 2 departments responsible for certain functions:
- fundic - fermentation of food,
- pyloric - splitting food.
Where do hares live
Hares live everywhere: in the tundra, taiga, steppe. By nature they are loners. Lead nocturnal. In search of food animals go out in the dark so that twilight hides them from natural enemies. After feeding, the animals return home before sunrise. So that no one would guess about the lair, the beast climbs backwards into it, having previously confused the tracks.
The lair is chosen carefully, scrupulously. It should be warm, protected from the wind. Animals do not like dampness, noise. Animals do not dig holes, choose a ready place: a bush, arable land, tall grass. Due to the color, the animal can not be seen.
They are homebodies, do not change their habitat. If people or animals force him to break from their homes, the beast does not go far. The maximum distance from the place of residence - 2-3 km, when the danger passes, the animal will return home.
With the onset of cold weather, hares living on higher elevations descend to lowlands in order to wait out the winter.
It should be noted cleanliness of animals. They often sit down and bring cleanliness: combed, licked wool.
What does the hare eat in winter
Winter time is a hard time for wild animals. In cold weather, animals dig snow, looking for dry grass. They can be found on the winter fields, where they eat up, left after harvest, spikelets and roots. Beasts gnawing bark of trees, shrubs in the forest. This gives a lot of trouble to gardeners, because hares spoil valuable varieties of fruit trees.
The summer diet is wide. Animals eat plants, actively gaining weight. Prefer the upper part of the grass: leaves, flowers. They eat dandelions, picans, tansy, strawberries, blueberries.
While eating, the animals bounce up to assess the environment. If the animal has noticed or felt danger, it begins to loudly tap its feet on the ground. Knock - warning of danger.
Reproduction and longevity
Tapping with paws is used by females during the period of mating - they lure males living nearby. Male animals should in a fight to reveal a worthy contender for the paw and heart of a long-eared beauty. The period of courtship is long: it starts from January, ends in August-September.
The female bears offspring for about 2 months, approximately 43 days. In one litter, hare brings 1-9 cubs. In winter, 1-4 hare is born, in summer the number increases. The hares are born completely covered with wool, with eyes open. Newborn babies female licks, gently shakes to stimulate blood circulation. Then, the mother hides them in the hole, goes to look for food. For three weeks the hare feeds the young with milk, then they switch to independent grass feeding. If a nursing samochka meets other people's hares, she will feed them. Even if the mother died, orphaned babies will get the necessary milk, they will not die of starvation.
Since thousands of hares do not reach maturity and die from the claws and teeth of predators, the animals have natural fertility. A rare peculiarity is peculiar to animals - superfiting - the female may be pregnant with offspring at different stages of development. Individuals reach sexual development by 6 months. During the mating season, the female makes sounds resembling human muttering.
Outwardly, it is impossible to distinguish a hare from a hare. On examination of the genital organs, it can be noted that abdominal and breast nipples are visible in females.
In the wild, hares live 7-8 years
In total, 32 breeds of hares are known, but scientists insist on the inclusion of hares and rabbits, of which there are about 45 species.
This is a fairly large beast, weighing approximately 1.5-5 kg. The animal's ears can be up to 10 cm in length. The short small tail is always snow-white, the size varies from 5 to 10 cm.
The color of the hare in summer depends on the range: from gray with red stripes to dark gray. The belly of the beast is white. Hares larger and heavier, but in color do not differ. In winter, the hare puts on a snow-white fur coat, for which he received its name.
White hare can be found even in Argentina. In Russia, it lives everywhere, is an object of hunting, because hare meat is famous for its tenderness.
The animal weighs about 6-7 kg, the color is dark gray with specks, the eyes are dark brown. The ears of the hare are long, can reach 14 cm. The tail is elongated, its length is about 8-14 cm. Since this species lives in places with a small amount of snow, its paws are narrow and dense. The beast prefers steppe.
Rusack was introduced to Australia, where it became a national disaster. Uncontrolled reproduction led to the death of the local fauna, the loss of a huge number of crops. The doctrine is conducted research aimed at eliminating the beast from the territory of Australia.
Desert animal accustomed to live in a warm habitat. The size of the beast is small. Weight - 1.5-3 kg. Legs are long, narrow. Distinguished by long ears, tail. Fur is gray with a yellowish or brown haze. Dark, light colors alternate, the hare looks motley. The tail of the animal is dark, but there is a distinctive feature - at the end of a brush of white hard hair.
It inhabits Tibet, China. The animal is small, weighing about 2 kg. Color palette from black to dirty yellow.
The variety of hares is amazing, but their habits are almost identical. Animals serve as an object of hunting because of the tender meat, thick fur. Often a caught animal dies of fear, having a heartbreak.
What are the traces of the hare
It is especially clearly seen that there are many hares in our forest, in winter, when there is snow on the ground. The traces of these animals are apparently invisible!
The trail of a hare is very characteristic; you cannot confuse it with the traces of another beast. The hare puts its front paws in one line, one after another, and the rear paws parallel to each other.
At the same time, in order to understand the direction of movement of the hare, you need to remember that the rear legs of this animal always leave an imprint on the snow in front of the front ones. Hunters know that hares are always winding, confusing tracks, it is quite difficult to track the hare.
What do hares gnaw
It must be said that hares can cause significant damage to dacha farms, especially in winter, when the ground is covered with snow and there is no green vegetation.
Then they raid vacant summer cottages and eat, the bark of adult fruit trees, eat the remnants of vegetation from the garden, hay, gnaw or damage shoots and bushes, eat young trees. Often this leads to the death of plants. On the garden plots, hares love to gnaw the bark:
In the wild, they eat bark and shoots of maple, willow, aspen, elm and other trees. If there are no above trees, hares will feast on bark of cherry or pear. Many gardeners have to take significant measures to protect their landing in the winter from hare raids. In the autumn, hares can do damage in the fields, destroying the harvest of cereals, cabbage, carrots, beets, cucumbers, sunflower, potatoes, soybeans.
Summer hares expanse. A lot of vegetation, succulent field and forest grasses, plant tubers, young branches, bushes. They eat clover, various types of sedge, horse sorrel, dandelions, tansy, plantain, yarrow and many other herbs.
Now, in some restaurants a dish is served: a hare stewed in wine or sour cream. This seems like an unusual delicacy. And earlier, in the old Russian kitchen, hares were cooked in all sorts of ways. Well, what do hares feed themselves on - that's what I'll tell you about.
How do hares live
Hares are amazing animals. They have a cute fluffy look, for which they are loved by everything and depicted in fairy tales, in paintings, in cartoons. It is believed that the hare is stupid and cowardly. But in fact, in order to survive, this animal has to be a lot of cunning, fleeing from enemies. He skillfully confuses his tracks, runs fast, hides well, is very hardy, for example, can so exhausted a dog running after him, that when she falls down from exhaustion, she quietly jumps over it. Previously, scientists thought that hares belong to rodents. But then, nevertheless, they were singled out into a separate class of hares, because of their jaw structure (double row of incisors) and also because, unlike rodents, they are only herbivorous.
Since the hares are defenseless before the enemies, they feed only at night and in search of food, run very long distances. And during the day they sleep, so it is at this time that they are being hunted. Well, the delicacies of animals are very different:
- clover and dandelions, the most favorite plants available to them,
- cereals, sunflowers,
- melons, melons, pumpkins, watermelons,
- vegetables from the garden, carrots, cucumbers, beets.
It is believed that hares love cabbage, but in fact it is not. Cabbage, they will eat only as a last resort, and more often prefer a turnip or turnip. In winter, feed the animals harder. Their main food is last year's grass, extracted from under the snow, but the roots and bark of bushes and trees. Their favorite trees are aspen, birch, willow and hazel. In Siberia, hares feed on bark of young larches. They love to climb into the gardens with fruit trees, where they also gnaw bark and shoots. In spring, hares look very skinny, weak. But when greens appear, they gain weight quickly.
My daughter loves to look at the fluffy decorative rabbits in the pet store and constantly asks us to buy her "at least one." :) My husband and I almost agree. In the meantime, we read good fairy tales about the life of bunnies in the forest, that they love to eat and what they do in the winter.
What do hares eat in winter
Winter is the most difficult time of the year for all representatives of the hare family. And not because of the cold weather. Hunger - that's what does not give many hares to live until spring. If the scythe manages to survive, then in the spring it will have a gaunt appearance and frizzy wool.
But still in winter you can find something to eat. If you are lucky, you can find bushes of wild sea buckthorn or juniper berries. From the bark of trees in winter, only the bark of some horsetail bushes is suitable for food.
But when things are really bad, poor hares eat dropped elk horns and gnaw the bones of dead animals.
Probably most of the children's fairy tales and cartoons I remember the hare. I remember that in many pictures he was depicted with a carrot. Little fluffy animal with big ears. Is it true that he eats carrots? Now I tell you what the hare actually eats.
What are the hares
On the territory of Russia you can meet several species of hares:
- white dog
Among hares, predators will not be found. All these animals eat only plants. There are a huge number of hares in nature. They are good at adapting to environmental conditions. You can meet hares in various regions of the country, including the northern ones. Their warm fur coat allows you to easily endure low temperatures. The main problem in the winter is only the search for food.
Different types of hares different in coat color. White in summer is a gray fur coat, and in winter its color becomes snow-white. The hare of the hare is red in summer and light-brown in winter. The cuff, in contrast to the two other species of hares, does not have some pronounced coat color. In the summer, his gray wool is stained with red, and in winter its shade becomes light gray.
Really, Hares love to eat vegetables, including carrot. Often they are classified as pests, as they can easily destroy the harvest of cabbage and carrots. That is why hunting for these animals is not prohibited. In summer, the hare will not be difficult to find food in the forest. There they eat:
- tree roots,
- bark and grass
- dandelion flowers
More often in search of food hares are sent at night. With the onset of cold weather, it becomes increasingly difficult to find food. In the autumn, hares do not yet have big problems with food. Since the grass under the canopy of the trees almost does not turn yellow, then before the onset of severe frost there will be food for the hare. In the cold and big snow they will not envy. At this time, hares can eat only корой с деревьев и некоторыми оставшимися дикими ягодами.
Слабые животные не могут пережить зиму. С наступлением весны зайцы отправляются в поля, чтобы восполнить свои силы. В это время как раз начинает появляться зелень. Именно весной они могут забрести в огородв поисках еды.
Feeding hares in spring and summer
Hares are vegetarians. They feed on grass, young shoots, berries, tubers, do not bypass the agricultural fields. However, in summer, when food is plentiful, people prefer places far from people.
Observations have shown that hares do not have “favorite” types of food. They willingly eat everything that grows in the forest and forest-steppe zones. In particular, the Stavropol Rusaks eat even such poisonous plants as buttercups and larkspur.
From children's books, we know that eared rodents are madly in love with cabbage. However, this myth is akin to stories in which mice go crazy with cheese, and hedgehogs adore apples, picking them up into spines. Hares rather prefer to profit in a field sown with cereals, potatoes or beets.
The sites of white hare, hare, and tolaev differ, depending on the habitat.
- White hare prefer small glades, bushes, ravines. Accordingly, the majority of forest plants are included in their diet: from spring shale (it is also a hare cabbage), mouse peas, yarrow, to berries. Sometimes the hare eats horsetails, some species of mushrooms.
- Tolai love to feed in the open. The basis of their summer diet is horse sorrel, tamarisk, sedge, wormwood, chingil, tubers, and bulbs of herbaceous plants.
- Rusaki is still omnivorous. They can feed both far from people and brazenly approach the outskirts of settlements. They eat dandelions, clover, tansy, chicory, and other wild species. They willingly eat sunflowers, cereals, as well as everything that they find in the gardens. There are cases when gray thieves dug up the tubers of new potatoes right from the ground, nibbled shoots from melons.
What hares eat in autumn and winter
Beginning in October, hares become even more omnivorous. They eat the bark of trees and with the onset of cold weather are getting closer to human habitation. The most popular among them are the marginal fields with winter crops, which they dig out from under the snow, and distant haylofts with ready hay.
In heavy snowfalls, hares prefer to remain resting for several days, eating their own dry droppings. The little hares feed on dry grass, which the mother lavishes abundantly on the nest.
- Whites gnaw the bark from almost all trees: willow, maple, mountain ash, birch, juniper, and oak. Strong paws dig up green blades of grass from under the snow.
- Tolai migrate from places with high snow cover in the valley, closer to human settlements. They feed on the fields with the remains of corn, grain crops, and tree bark.
- Rusaki in winter turn into a real disaster for gardeners, gnawing the trunks of fruit trees to the height of its growth. They also feed on seeds, dry grass blossoms, gnaw the bark of maple, hazel and oak trees.
Hares (like all herbivores) are deficient in mineral salts in the body. On the elks thrown off the bones and bones of dead animals often find traces of hare teeth.
Therefore, experienced hunters lure hares with salt water, watering snow or soil in places of future hunting. According to some recipes, salt is best dissolved in a decoction of dried raspberry leaves.
Lures also include thin sprigs of aspen, willow (best of all with buds), parsley (fresh or dry).
However, it should be remembered that some types of hunting, which require bait, are prohibited in areas with a small number of hares.
What kind of beast is a hare?
Hares - representatives of the order of hares and family of hares. Interestingly, until some time hares were ranked as a squad of rodents, but were separated because of a completely different structure of the teeth. Unlike rodents (squirrels, mice, jerboas, hamsters), hares are not one, but two pairs of incisors in the upper jaw, which are located one after another.
In addition, plant food - what hares feed on, does not particularly attract rodents, some of them are completely carnivorous, most eat insects, fish, and bird eggs. And hares are absolute vegetarians, this is a sign of a completely different evolutionary line, which allows them to be considered as an independent unit.
Hares form the genus of the same name, which includes about 32 species of animals that live on all continents, except Antarctica and Australia. On the territory of Russia there are 4 species of hares: the well-known hare and white hare, as well as the tolai hare and the little-studied, the most secretive species is the Manchurian hare. These animals inhabit various biotopes and have appearance features and habits characteristic of the species.
What do hares of Russia look like?
Rusak is the largest hare in the territory of our country, the size of adults is from 57 to 68 cm, and the weight can reach 7 kg. The summer fur of brown hares is brown, brown, grayish, reddish with well-marked dark pestrins and characteristic waviness, only the belly is white. After the autumn molt, the hares become overgrown with lush winter fur and become slightly lighter. In the diet of the hare dominated above-ground parts of plants.
The white dog is a little inferior to the hare in size: hares grow up to 44-65 cm and weigh from 1.6 to 4.5 kg, extremely rarely to 5.5 kg. In white hair, ears and tail are noticeably shorter, and color varies depending on the season. In the summer, the white hare is reddish gray or dark gray with brown speckles, and when it turns white it becomes snow white, only the tips of the ears are black. In contrast to the hare, these animals dig more land and more often feed on the bulbs and rhizomes of plants.
The hare-tolai is a smaller copy of a hare with the same elongated ears and a relatively long tail. The length of an adult tolya's body is 39-55 cm, and the animal weighs no more than 1.5-2.8 kg. The color of the fur coat is the same as that of light-haired Russians, but without waviness and also brightens in winter. But the diet of the Tolya is very similar to the nutrition of the white hare.
The Manchurian hare is as small as a tolai, but with ears like a short white hare and tail. Unlike relatives, the Manchu hare's wool is tough and bristly and this hare wears a uniform of the same color all year round. The back and head of the animal are brownish with black speckles, the sides are lighter, the belly is off-white, the cheeks are covered with light spots. A characteristic feature of the species is a strip of dark fur that runs along the ridge.
In the southern population of Manchurian hares, there are melanist specimens, completely black on the top, snow-white on the bottom with a pale-yellow throat. It is interesting that among the hares of this species feed is the legume plant Lespedeza and the range of animals does not go beyond the area of distribution of this culture.
Hare eats grass.
Where do hares live?
Rusak is a typical steppe animal, widespread in Eurasia and North Africa. In Russia, it is found from the coast of Lake Ladoga to Khabarovsk and Primorsky Krai. These animals prefer open spaces - plains, steppes and semi-deserts, and even in the forests they choose edges, ashes and light forests.
The hares live in the tundra, woodlands and forest-steppes from Scandinavia to Mongolia, China and Japan. On the territory of Russia it is found almost everywhere, especially in summer, with an abundance of feed. This is a typical forest animal, but the white forest avoids dense forests, but is habitual in wetlands with willow and reed beds, in shrub tundra, in search of a rich forage area often on agricultural land near villages and villages.
Hare-tolai is an amazing creature that does not need forests and fields. Favorite habitats of animals are deserts and semi-deserts of Central Asia. In Russia, the Tolay habitat is fragmentary scattered in the arid steppes and mountainous regions of Southern Siberia, from the Altai Mountains to the southern part of the Astrakhan Region. What do hares who choose such a strange range eat? The animals feed on rare young grass, wormwood, chemysh, tamarisk, branches of sand acacia, dig up plant tubers. In the diet of Tolai, ephemeras are necessarily present and, interestingly, coarse shoots of saxaul.
The Manchurian hare is found in the Far East of Russia, in Chinese Manchuria and in the north of Korea. These animals love forests with dense undergrowth, hazel forests, birch forests, wet lowlands and rarely appear in open areas. In addition to the aforementioned lespedice, the two-color animal eats with pleasure the green parts of all kinds of vegetation. Like all relatives, the diet of the Manchurian hare strongly depends on the time of year.
What do hares eat in summer
Hares are defenseless against predators and humans, therefore they are active at dusk and at night, but during the rut period they are often noticed during the day. Hares are territorial singles, their individual plots occupy an area of up to 50 hectares. In the afternoon, hares sit in secluded places: in the bushes, thick grass, empty foxes and badger burrows, and at night go in search of food.
In summer, hares have enough food within their personal territory. Among what hares feed on, the most diverse parts of green plants come first. Belyak gladly consumes the goldenrod and a bedstraw, feeding on mouse peas and yarrow. The vitamins and trace elements necessary for health are obtained from dandelions and clovers.
Clover and dandelion, alfalfa, and colza, very useful chicory, essential oils rich in essential oils, predominate in the summer diet of the hare. In search of delicacies, hares often visit the cultivation of cultivated plants, where they feast on various grasses, buckwheat and young sunflowers. Particularly preferred melons, but will not give up vegetables.
Hares breed at a time of abundant feed - from March to September. These animals are extremely prolific and one female can produce offspring 5 times per season, and in the brood there can be up to 9 rabbits. With the onset of autumn and before the frost, hares begin to actively eat blueberry shoots, horsetail, dig a special delicacy from the ground - reindeer truffle. In the diet there are sprigs of young trees and shrubs and with the onset of frost, hares switch to solid food.
Hare in the grass.
What hares eat in winter
If the summer food of hares is basically identical, then the winter diet of different species is noticeably different. The hare continues to search for soft food, digging up dead grass from under the snow, visits the vegetable gardens in search of tops of cultivated plants, extracts winter crops in the fields.
When the snow falls thick, the hare is forced to go to the bark and shoots of trees and shrubs. Particularly preferred hazel, broom, oak and maple. Less often gnaws the bark of apples, pears and willows.
The whites do not like grass rags, but they dig snow in search of cedar elfin wood and berries, eat hay in haystacks. The favorite winter food of the hare is bark and twigs of willow, larch, birch and aspen. An important role in the survival of animals is played by wild rose, juniper, bird cherry shoots, alder and hazel.
The diet of the Manchurian hare is similar to the food of the white hare, and the animals give particular preference to aspen and poplar. The hare-tolai, like the hare, digs up a lot of snow in search of grassy plants, and from solid food especially respects Chemysh and tamarisk.
Hare in the winter.
From hunger, hares do not die and at any time of the year they find enough food. They live an average of 10-12 years, hares are long-lived and can live for 17 years. However, in natural conditions, hares are defenseless against predators and humans, so at best they live for about 5 years. Only due to the rare fecundity of all 4 species of hares living on the territory of Russia are quite numerous and the state of their populations does not cause scientists fear.