isabelb's picture

Bank vole

Observed: 27th June 2009 By: isabelbisabelb’s reputation in Mammalsisabelb’s reputation in Mammals
Bank Vole


Species interactions

No interactions present.


miked's picture

Seems to match the

Seems to match the description and picture in collins field guide for bank vole but I am not an expert on voles. How did you manage to get a photo?

the naturalist man's picture

Bank Vole

The two voles, bank and field voles can be very difficult to tell apart from photographs. The easy way is that the field voles tail is always around a third the length of the body and the tail of the bank vole is half the length of the body. Unfortunately, your photo cuts the tail off at the length I'd expect the field voles to be. However, in your description you mention long tail, therefore I am confident you have a bank vole.

You can not always go by the fur colour as both voles are variable with their young, especially, looking superficially like the other species. The fur can also look different colours in different lights. The belly fur is a better indication, bank voles have a warm, cream coloured fur whilst the field vole is more a grey colour. Again, the problem is your animal is hiding its belly.

The ears are prominant, as with bank voles. Field voles have longer hair and the ears are less obvious. The bank vole has a pointed muzzle, as with yours, field voles have a shorter, rounder muzzle giving them a cute appearence.

The final clue is you found it in a woodland, field voles never stray into woodland and bank voles rarely leave woodland.

Fantastic photograph, all mine are of animals in the hand, after a tappling session, as I can never get them to stay still long enough.

Graham Banwell

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

Exobasidium's picture

Field Voles

Field voles do occupy woodland in the hills where there is plenty of grass. They are the main prey of Tawny Owls so you can forecast good breeding years for the latter, and, of course, poor breeding years like last year 2009.