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woodmouse Wood Mice

Identify It >   Mammal Section >   Wood Mice >

Scientific name:  Apodemus sylvaticus

Size:  Approx 8cm - 9cm from nose to base of tail.  The tail is as long as the body

Distribution:  Found throughout the UK

Months seen:  All year round

Life Span:  Up to two years

Habitat:  Woodlands, fields and hedgerows.  Will also come into houses in winter months

Food:  Mostly seeds, nuts and berries

Droppings:  Approx 5mm long, dark brown, cylindrical, hard and don't crumble

Special features:  The Wood Mouse, also known as the Long Tailed Field Mouse is probably the most common mammal in the UK.  The fur on the back is brown in colour - dark along the spine and lighter on the sides.  The belly and underside fur is a creamy-white. It has bulbous black eyes, and prominent ears.

Wood mice are notoriously fast breeders.  A female wood mouse can produce six litters of up to nine young every year.  The young are fully weaned after 18 days.

Wood mice generally live in an underground burrow, coming out at night to feed.  Their movements are fast, and sometimes they jump, looking like tiny kangaroos.  Underground, they build up a store of food for the winter.  Although they don't hibernate, they do become less active during the winter.

Wood mice have plenty of predators which keep their numbers down, such as weasels, tawny owls, and in urban areas domestic cats.

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