|White-sided Jackrabbit (Lepus callotis) photo from wickimedia commons. Note the black on the inside of the ears.|
I was reasonably sure then that the hares we saw on both occasions were white-sided jackrabbits (Lepus callotis) also known as the Mexican hares. Literature gives Northern to Central Mexico and Hidalgo County in SW New Mexico as the distribution range of this threatened species. But occurance in Arizona is assumed possible but has not been clearly recorded. So did we actually see L. callotis?
The two other possible species are Black-tailed and Antelope Jackrabbit, and both are widespread and common in Arizona.
|Watercolor of Black-tail Jackrabbit under Creosote bush with dry Cheat Grass. by Margarethe Brummermann|
Like the White-sided Jackrabbits, they have black areas on the tips of the ears, but on the outside, and black tails. But their flanks are tan colored like the rest of the upper side of the body. This JR has a wide distribution range, including all of the Southwestern US, east to Missouri, north to Nebraska and Washington and south into Mexico.
|Antelope Jackrabbit (Lepus alleni) Photo by Eirini Pajak|
|Antelope Jackrabbit photo by Rick Wright|
|Antelope Jackrabbit flashing its white side. photo by A. Schmierer|
|Old Jack. watercolor M.Brummermann|
Anyway, I think they are all amazing desert creatures, adapted to some of the most inhospitable habitats and chased and hunted by everyone from Golden Eagles and other raptors to felines, canines and humans, but still jumping, cavorting and playing.
|All Ears. watercolor M. Brummermann|
I found this in the AZ Star this morning and just couldn't help it, it just had to go on this blog: