I thought this was rather a good shot of these thatched boxing hares and the sweeping brush emerging from the chimney of this thatched property we swept recently in Shudy Camps. At the other end of the chimney was an unusual flame effect gas fire, which was constructed like a wood-burning stove, but without a door on it. Most unusual and something I had not seen before.
I know that you are thinking why do hares box in the first palace, well I’ll tell you all about it. Firstly it is not the male hares who box each other to win the right to mate with females as many people think, instead it will be a male and female who box each other. This happens when a male hare has been over zealous in his pursuit of a female in order to mate with her. What usually occurs is that the over persistent, unwanted attentions of the male become too much for the pursued female. For example the male might have chased the female across fields for some time in an attempt to mate. Eventually when the female has had enough of this, she’ll turn around and try to fend him off the persistent male suitor and a fierce boxing match will ensue! This mating behavior normally takes place in March giving rise to the expression, “mad as a March hare”.
I particularly liked this photo of boxing hares, which seems to be a rather common subject for thatched animals in this area. But why do hares actually box with each other? Why does this happen in the spring, giving rise to the expression ‘mad march hares’? Apparently, Hares do this because they are now in mating season, with the males (bucks) seeking out any females (does) that have come into season. The boxing usually occurs when a male is being too persistent with a female, chasing her across fields in an attempt to mate.