British Wildlife Centre Species Collection

 Wood Mouse - Apodemus sylvaticus

Also known as the long-tailed field mouse, this is the most common mouse in our countryside, found in woods, scrub and hedgerows throughout Britain and Ireland. Smaller and darker than its rarer cousin the yellow-necked mouse, the wood mouse is mainly nocturnal.

It will sit up and wash all over, especially if scared. It is an excellent climber and will leap high in the air when disturbed. It has many enemies; weasels, stoats, cats, foxes, moles and owls.

It has a varied omnivorous diet, eating nuts, seeds and rose hips as well as small insects and larvae.



Origin: Native.

Size: 8.1 - 10.3 cm nose to tail, tail 7.1 - 9.3 cm.
Weight: 13 - 27 g. Larger than a house mouse.

Description: Dark brown above, white/grey underside, protruding eyes, large ears, long tail.

Habitat: Woodlands, hedgerows, fields, gardens where they live in underground burrow systems containing nest chambers and food stores.

Young: Breed March - October, peak July - August. Usually 4 - 7 litters of 2 - 9 young are produced per year; females can breed at 2 months. Life expectancy 18 - 20 months, very few survive two winters.

Nest: Below ground, usually under the roots of trees, consists of a ball of dry grass, moss and leaves.

Diet: Omnivorous: acorns, nuts, haws, seeds, fungi, insects, larvae and spiders. Food is stored in underground burrows or occasionally in disused bird nests.

Population: Pre-breeding season estimated to be in excess of 38 million.

British distribution