Mammal Identification

Brown Hare Lepus europaeus

Identification features

Photo:Norman Crowson

  • Medium sized mammal
  • Large linear ears about twice as long as the head with black tips
  • A very short tail which is black on top and white underneath
  • Fur is has a warm brown colour with a paler underside and orange-brown flanks
  • They do not disappear down burrows
  • Bigger than a rabbit
  • Very fast moving animals

Brown hares are herbivores and eat grass, root vegetables and crops. They can be found in farm and grassland habitats in the wider countryside. They do not have burrows, instead having forms (shallow depressions in long grass/crops) They are more active at night, spending the day on their forms.

Other identification clues:


droppings of a brown hare

Being herbivores, brown hares produce lots of droppings. They are yellow-brown or green in colour and are 'cough-sweet' shaped, small and circular, with a flattened top. They are larger than rabbit droppings and are 15-20mm in diameter. The coarse vegetation material eaten is clearly seen.

Distribution in Derbyshire information