Large hare. The sizes 55 - 69 cm, occasionally more largely, the weight of 4-5 kg as an exception - to 7 kg. On average much more largely than a hare white hare. The largest individuals meet in the north of an area, the smallest to Ciscaucasia and Prikaspiya. In coloring both in the summer, and individual and geographical variability is traced in the winter. In the summer coloring gray, brownish-gray or yellowish-gray with the noticeable dark pestrina formed by dark cavalries of hair of an underfur. In the winter at animals from the southern parts of an area coloring does not change, but northern hares considerably brighten. The back and the head of it, however, and in the north of an area always remain dark. Sides are painted backs, a belly white are lighter. Hair of a hare brilliant also has a noticeable sinuosity that does even more noticeable dark ripples. A tail unlike a tail of a white hare extended, his coloring from above black or dark-brown during all seasons. Ears are long, bent down, they considerably support a nose tip. On the outer edge of an ear there is a black border. Legs are longer, than at a white hare, but paws considerably already - load of 1 cm2 of the area of soles equals 16-18 g. Coloring of males and females is indiscernible. A hare hare - the inhabitant of open spaces.
Lives in a forest zone mainly on fields, lodges on shrubby thickets, extensive cuttings down, forest edges and glades less often. Inclination to settlements, especially in winter time, and also to valleys of the rivers is everywhere observed. Sites on which agricultural grounds alternate with small coppices and thickets of bushes are especially favorable and have the developed network of ravines and beams.
In steppes meets both on opened, and on virgin sites, it is frequent on thickets of a tall weeds and bushes in beams and valleys of the rivers. Willingly lodges at a forest belt, near gardens and at settlements. In the Caucasus quite highly rises to mountains (higher than 3000 m), and meets here not only on mountain steppes, but also in the broad-leaved woods. In the south of Siberia the acclimatized hares occur in the hilly forest-steppe and the steppe of foothill areas, on fields and at settlements. The hare, as well as a white hare, during various seasons changes habitats depending on their security with available sterns and more or less reliable shelters. Are quite accurately traced in the fall and in the winter local movements to settlements, to suburbs of the woods and on rather low-snow sublime sites. After snowfalls hares often accumulate near roads on which it is easier to move and where it is possible to find a forage. In the southern regions of the country also the moving of hares to the spring and summer period connected with economic activity of the person is noted. In general they are reduced to the fact that the majority of hares moves on the most kormny grounds, activity of the person on which is insignificant at present,
The hare is normal a territorial animal with quite accurately expressed settled life. The square on which he spends the most part of the time makes several tens hectares. As a rule, it the is less, than more attractive to hares of a ground and density of their population is higher. Individual sites of hares are often blocked, and degree of an overshoot depends on abundance of forages, existence of suitable shelters and a season. In winter time on favorable sites groups of hares quite often live. In a steppe zone under adverse conditions (very high snow cover, the ice crust which arose owing to differences of temperatures) excluding a possibility of production of a forage from the Earth's surface mass movements of hares are sometimes observed. Thousands of hares move to kormny areas at this time - to the island woods and forest belts, to settlements, etc. Movements usually make several tens kilometers.
Hares hares are active mainly in twilight and night hours. Only during rutting activity and is everywhere observed during daylight hours. The hares who are fed in the afternoon can also be observed in the summer in the north of an area. The greatest activity is the share of the first half of night and at o'clock at dawn. In the middle of the night the break between greasings is usually observed - hares have a rest several hours at places of feeding or leave on lezhka. For one greasing the hare passes distance to several kilometers, and the animals living on fields or in the open steppe, usually pass more, than lodging at edges and in a bush. Under adverse conditions the hare, as well as a white hare, can not come till several days for greasing. Lezhka of a hare in summertime is, as a rule, equipped better, than the white hare lezhka Most often is the small pole which is dug out by an animal under cover of a bush or a curtain of grassy plants on some removal from places of feeding Such shelter can be used several times. Short-term lezhka can be arranged without any preparation under a bush or in a boundary in the field the Arrangement of shelters substantially depends on a season and weather conditions. In the spring of a lezhka are at the warmed-up places more often, and in the summer, on the contrary, in rather cool - at slopes of a northern exposition, from North side of a bush etc. In rainy weather keeps on drier sublime sites more often, and in dry, on the contrary, in lowlands. Hares and in the thrown holes of badgers, foxes and groundhogs can have a rest. In the winter the lezhka is arranged on snow of any shelter alee, and in areas with deep snow hares, as well as white hares, sometimes dig the holes reaching length more than a meter. In the fall and in the winter hares often lie down in stacks, at structures on suburbs of settlements. Going from the place of feeding on a lezhka, the hare confuses traces, doing loops, a sdvoyka and wit. sdvoyka of a hare are much longer, than a white hare (usually several tens meters), but the quantity them is small (usually 2-3). Doing wit, the hare tries to jump in the curtain of a dry grass which is sticking out of snow, in a bush or for a hummock that the trace was not visible. Passing of part of a way on greasing and back on a lezhka on roads is characteristic of this hare. The firm surface is convenient for movement and on it there is practically no trace left. As well as other species of hares - a hare, vegetaryanets. The structure of the plants consumed by it in summertime is very various - it is various wild-growing (a dandelion, chicory, a tansy, the bird's mountaineer, a bittercress, a clover, a lucerne, etc.) and cultural (sunflower, buckwheat, cereals) grassy plants. At an opportunity willingly eats vegetable and melon cultures. Most often eats stalks and leaves of plants, but can dig out roots, and in the second half of summer eats also seeds in the Winter, unlike a white hare, the food basis is usually also made by grassy plants. The role of wood plants in food is more noticeable in the north of an area. In steppe areas food by escapes and bark of trees and bushes is observed usually in adverse years, at a large amount of snow. Most willingly at the same time eats a broom, a maple, an oak, a filbert, fruit-trees. The aspen and willows preferred by a white hare, the hare consumes less often, and only in certain areas they have essential value.
Hares reach puberty less than at one-year-old age, the next year after the birth. The quantity of a dung fluctuates from 1 in the south of Siberia to 4 to Ciscaucasia and Lower Volga area. Terms of reproduction of hares hares depend on a geographical position and weather conditions. In the South of Russia, to Ciscaucasia, rutting at hares it is possible to observe during the whole year, and the first leverets, especially at warm winter, appear in January. A bit later, in March, leverets are born in the Volga region and in South Ural. And at northern limits of distribution rutting takes place in a midland at the end of February - March, and leverets appear in April - the beginning of May, in 40 - 45 days after pairing. Approximately in the same terms the Siberian hares breed. Again doe hares copulate at once after the delivery, and sometimes and to them. In a midland the second cycle of reproduction falls on April - the beginning of May (leverets at the end of May - June), and the third for June (leverets in August). Usually rutting at hares takes place not so amicably as at white hares, deviations from normal terms at them meet more often so a quantity of leverets is born before and after usual seasons. The number of leverets in a brood in different areas of dwelling hesitates ranging from 1 to 9, usually them there is 2-4. The size of a brood is influenced by weather conditions, age of a doe hare etc. Broods are on average larger in areas where hares have less reproductive cycles. Winter, early-spring and autumn broods it is less, than late spring and summer. Young and old doe hares bring less leverets, than middle-aged. Unlike a white hare of a female of a hare before childbirth arrange primitive nests, they dig out poles or superficial holes and cover them with straw. Leverets, as well as at a white hare, are born sighted people and covered with fur. The first days the brood keeps in shelter, at cold weather the doe hare can cover cubs with straw. Feeding happens to an interval in days, and sometimes and more - till 4 days. From five-day age leverets begin to move near the birthplace, to two-week age they already actively eat a grass, and approximately from three-week age become independent. Feeding cases are known for doe hares of foreign leverets provided that on age they not strongly differ from own, but it is observed less than at a white hare. Life expectancy of hares till 6-7 years (in exceptional cases till 12 years), but the most part does not live them also till 4-5 years.
The hare fades two times in a year. Molt time differs at animals from various parts of an area a little and besides depends on weather conditions, a condition of animals etc. The spring molt on the most part of an area falls on March - May, and most violently it proceeds in April when wool from a hare falls down shreds. Its general "direction", as well as at a white hare, from the head to back part of a body. The beginning of an autumn molt is necessary usually for September. Its course to a large extent depends on weather conditions. At an early cold snap it passes quicker and comes to an end in November, and at warm weather sometimes drags on till December. "Direction" its return to "direction" of a spring molt.
In places of high number of a hare it is possible to find his lezhka in the summer - the superficial poles which are dug out at any shelter. In the winter the hare leaves the same marks, as a white hare (nabroda, pogryza) though the pokopk for a white hare noted infrequently are also characteristic of it. Traces of a hare usually more small than white hare traces also differ in more extended form, the prints of forepaws which were more pointed. At the same time traces of the hares living in the north of an area in areas with high snow cover are much wider than traces of steppe hares. The dung of a white hare and hare in winter time also differs - at the hare more eating on grassy plants, it is more dark, and in a form splusnut less.