Mammal Tracks: Snowshoe Hare

Photo of Snowshoe Hare trail

The same local spot where I've been observing Tinder Conk and Birch Polypore is also home to several Snowshoe Hares (Lepus americanus). I've yet to see a hare here in the flesh, but I've seen plenty of evidence of their passing. From their round pebble poops, to nipped twigs and well-worn pathways, these camouflaged lagomorphs leave their marks on a snowy landscape.

Photo of Snowshoe Hare prints

When moving through open areas, Snowshoe Hares bound, with their two front feet registering staggered behind their larger side-by-side hind feet. The photos above show the pattern in soft snow.  On packed snow, individual toe and palm pads may be visible (see below).  The trail widths I measured were between 7 and 8 inches.  Eastern Cottontails leave similar track patterns, but their hind feet and trail widths (<5") are not as wide.

Photo of Snowshoe Hare prints

Leave a Comment