Long-tailed Field Mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus)

The long-tailed field mouse or wood mouse, as he is sometimes called, occurs across most of Europe including the UK. They are mainly nocturnal, living in woods, fields & hedgerows. Only occasionally will they visit houses and then only when hungry & in the absence of house mice.

This little fellow jumped across the floor of the horse barn as I was shutting up for the night:

_MG_7687-08Mar09-edit   click image for larger view …

They have a good jump on them too, managing up to about 3ft, quite something for somebody who is only 3.5 inches long (excl. tail).

Wood mice live in burrows with separate chambers for breeding, food storage and toilets. Food types include berries, seeds, grain, nuts, snails, insects and any other opportunistic offerings. Only a few survive the winters but if they do, they may live up to 2 years. Predators are many including foxes, owls cats & weasels.

For those of you interested in the photography:

  • Auto focus & image stabilisation were turned off – the mouse seemed sensitive to the noise
  • I used high speed synch flash at 1/640s to freeze any motion
  • Canon 5D mkII with 70-200L and 1.4 extender
  • 280mm f11 ISO640


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