Wood mouse

The Wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus) is the most wide spread and most common mouse in the UK. It is also sometimes called the long tailed field mouse. The Wood mouse is a relative of the larger and rarer Yellow necked mouse which is distinguished by a pale yellow band around its neck. Wood mice have dark brown fur on the upper body and light, nearly white or grey fur on their underparts. They can also be distinguished by their protruding eyes, large ears and long tail. Wood mice are approximately 8 -10 centimetres long and their tails 7-9 centimetres, they are bigger than House mice. They can be found in almost any terrain in the UK including gardens and I am pleased to say they that although they are generally nocturnal they are sometimes seen in my wildlife garden scurrying around and through the holes in a double skinned stone wall I built partly to attract mice and voles. If a Wood mouse is caught by a predator by the tail it is able to shed the end to escape but may never re-grow it. Wood mice are part of the staple diet of many animals including owls, foxes, weasels and stoats. They themselves are omnivorous and will eat all kinds of nuts, seeds and berries including acorns, rose hips and haws. They also eat spiders, insects and worms and other invertebrates or anything already dead which they come across. They store food in underground chambers and spend a lot of their lives underground in tunnels.
Wood mice breeding season is from March to October though most takes place in the warmer months of July and August. They have between 4-7 litters each year, each one having between 2-9 young. Wood mice leave the nest after about 4 weeks and young females gave reproduce in just 2 months and live for about 18-20 months.

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