What do snowshoe hares eat? Bugs Bunny might subsist on carrots, but hares in the wild seldom have access to them. After a hare has been weaned, a smorgasbord of healthy fare can be found around Flandrum Hill. Greens may not be a favorite of young children, but they are certainly enjoyed by young hares.
Below, a young hare sniffs a closed dandelion flower.
Plantains and dandelion blooms and stems may taste bitter to us, but not to hares who eat them along with the leaves.
Below, an older hare decides to give sunflower seeds left out for the chickadees a try in early spring.
Year-round, hares have access to the tips of low-hanging evergreen boughs such as spruce and balsam fir. These are especially tender and delectable in late spring. In winter, deep snow makes boughs higher up on the trees easier for the hares to reach.
Perhaps we should take note of the hares’ food choices and all consider eating more greens. It’s highly likely that the snowshoe hares’ diet is at least partially responsible for their vitality, which seems to be leaps and bounds ahead of ours.
Text and photographs copyright Amy-Lynn Bell 2015