Jonathan's picture

Field Vole babies - 15 March 2008 - 3:50pm

Observed: 15th March 2008 By: Jonathan
iSpot team
Jonathan’s reputation in MammalsJonathan’s reputation in Mammals
Mouse babies 15-03-2008 12-48-00
Description:

Found in my compost heap

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

the naturalist man's picture

Mouse Babies

From the relatively short tail, small ears and blunt nose I would say these are Field Vole (Microtus agrestis) babies. I've always found the tails and ears of young rodents to be out of proportion to their body (when compared to adults). Therefore, mice, which have long tails and large ears in adults, appear to have enourmously large ears and long tails when babies. These babies clearly have neither.

Finding them in a compost heap also fits with Field Vole as this is a favourite place to nest.

Graham.

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'
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Jonathan's picture

Thanks for putting a name to

Thanks for putting a name to these.

Jonathan
University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)

Kluut's picture

House mice

Having destroyed quite a few vole and mice nests over the years, some intentionally, some not, these look very much like mice, not voles. Vole young have very short, very blunt and very hairy tails - these do not. Vole young are also extremely "chubby", especially the head, just like adults.
Being in a compost heap just makes me more certain - I have only ever found mice nests in them. Voles are grazers and a compost heap would be an inconvenient distance from ample food.

the naturalist man's picture

Voles nesting

I have to disagree concerning voles in compost bins. My Farther-in-Law has had field voles nesting in his compost bin for the last three years at least. Wonderful to watch them grow.

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'
http://www.ispot.org.uk/forum/8411