What I thought were rabbits…

… were really hares. My neighbourhood (and Edmonton in general) seems to be well-populated with these creatures, and today I was able to snap a picture of one in my backyard through a window without scaring it off. A bit of research on Wikipedia revealed it to be a common type of hare known as the White-tailed jackrabbit, prevalent in North America, especially in the western regions such as Alberta.

He's on alert.

As from its information page, the white-tailed jackrabbit (or Lepus townsendii), is mainly a nocturnal creature, though they’ve been seen quite a bit during the day here. In colder regions like here, they will moult to change colours with the season, and keep up the camouflage. Though mammals, they do have a range of body temperature in hot, arid climates, and “voluntary hyperthermia” allows their internal temperature to rise to 41 C.

They have insatiable appetites, and feed off plants like grass. (Homeowners, beware!) They are apparently extremely mobile, being able to run up to 55 km/hr, and will run in zig-zag patterns to lose predators. They can also swim and can leap up to 5 m! Thus, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to catch one yourself, unless you’re quite clever.

See the rest of the photos here.

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