Week of the mouse

Mice are tiny, incredibly fast and often live in concealed areas, which makes them quite hard to sight. This week, I have been lucky to spot two of them: a wood mouse (above photo) and a common shrew—which technically is neither a mouse nor a rodent as it belongs to the mole family.

I found the shrew unwell in the middle of the sidewalk and nearly stepped on it. I fetched it, placed it in a warm box and gave it some Continue reading

Foraging Voles

A couple of bank voles (Myodes glareolus) were conspicuously foraging along a country path this morning. The little rodents were so overly confident that I could kneel just a few inches from them for several minutes. Despite poor light conditions cast by a dull weather, I had a go with my small compact camera. I shall return under sunny skies but for now here are the best shots.

Voles are monogamous for the duration of their short existence which rarely exceeds 6 months, although most die during their first month. In my town, they often get hit or run over by bicycles, a rather violent death.

To compensate this high mortality rate, mother nature made these rodents particularly prolific. A single couple can engender up to a 100 descents per year causing recurrent episodes of overpopulation. The mice are considered a pest by farmers as they burrow into the ground where they forage on roots thereby ravaging crops and fruit trees.

Any encounter with these minuscule, adorable looking beings remains nonetheless greatly enjoyable.

Location: Bayreuth, Germany