Wood mouse

┬ęPaul Adams

Wood mouse

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Scientific name: Apodemus sylvaticus
The tiny, brown wood mouse is one of our most common rodents and is very likely to be found in the garden. It is similar to the house mouse, but has larger ears and eyes relative to its size.

Top facts

Stats

Length: 8-10cm
Tail: 7-9.5cm
Weight: 25g
Average lifespan: 1 year

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

January to December

About

The wood mouse is sometimes known as the long-tailed field mouse and is widespread; it is probably most common in woodland, rough grassland and gardens. It is mostly nocturnal and an agile climber. Wood mice will gather food stores of berries and seeds in the autumn, which they keep in underground burrows or sometimes in old birds' nests. Females have up to six litters a year of between four and eight young, and may even breed over winter if food is abundant.

What to look for

The wood mouse is golden-brown, with a pale underside, large ears and eyes, and a long tail. It is bigger than the harvest mouse, and browner in colour than the house mouse.

Where to find

Widespread.

Did you know?

The wood mouse is our commonest mouse and the one you are most likely to find in your garden. Because of this, it often falls prey to domestic cats, foxes and owls; in fact, tawny owls may not breed if wood mouse numbers are low as it restricts their diet.