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MAD AS A MARCH HARE

"Mad as a March hare". A well worn phrase memorable for its alliteration. Apparently it derives from the behaviour of 'boxing hares' in spring when 2 adult hares chase each other and stand on their hind legs having fisticuffs, attacking each other with their front legs. Surprisingly, these are not fights between competing males but between male and female hares - the female fending off the amorous male by giving him a 'boxing'.

I am lucky enough to see hares regularly where I live. Usually I see single adults, but I have seen boxing behaviour in spring and it makes for a great spectacle. What beautiful animals they are. Long black-edged ears, fawn colours, elongated body shapes - hares are marvellous to see!


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