Wood mouse

©Paul Adams

Wood mouse

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.

Species information

Statistics

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.

How to identify

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.

Distribution

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.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts work closely with farmers and landowners to ensure that our wildlife is protected and to promote wildlife-friendly practices. By working together, we can create Living Landscapes: networks of habitats stretching across town and country that allow wildlife to move about freely and people to enjoy the benefits of nature. Support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.