My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

Basement Vistor

One of the Park Naturalist brought this little critter to my office and notified me that he had just caught it in the basement. For a short time we were identifying this as something else until PG (who was babysitting it) said “its brownie” pointing to its picture in the field guide! After going through all the keys and reading up on it – she was correct that this little mouse was a Meadow Jumping Mouse Zapus hudsonius.

Meadow Jumping Mouse

Some interesting details that we learned about brownie was that it should have much longer hind legs than its front legs, its tail is twice as long as the body and fur has an interesting yellowish brown (almost red highlights) to it. This mouse does resemble the Woodland Jumping Mouse but doesn’t have the white tipped tail like the woodland species has. Some other interesting facts that we learned is that its first jump is about 2-3 feet and then follow with smaller hops (which made it hard for the Naturalist to capture – I would have loved to watch the capture). I really found interesting is that this species will go into hibernation from late October to Mid May (for over a ½ year). Just remember that these mice are food to the many other animals that we love to photograph! It’s a mammal that we rarely see being that they are most active at night and sleeping most of the year. After observing this little mouse in the office we released it over on the other side of the lake with hopes to making many more baby mice.

 

Meadow Jumping Mouse - Zapus hudsonius

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