Belongs to: rodents

Compare with: yellow-necked mouse
harvest mouse

Wood mouse Apodemus sylvaticus

Best time to see: all year

Key facts

Small mouse with large eyes and ears and a long tail.

Habitat mainly woods, but also more open areas.

Widespread across almost all of Europe.


Large eyes and ears and a long tail: head/body up to 11cm, tail as long again.

Mostly nocturnal and very agile, sometimes occupying birdboxes

Eats seeds, berries, nuts, plants; carries nuts to feeding places, leaving large collections with grooved holes towards one end


Nest made of grasses in a cavity, such as under a log or in an old bird's nest

Up to 4 litters a year, from spring to autumn; 3–9 young per litter, naked and helpless

Do not hibernate; life expectancy 1–2 years.

  • photo

© Robert Welham