Saturday, 25 June 2016

Deer Mouse (Souris sylvestre) in my backyard

23 June 2016

     The Deer Mouse Peromyscus maniculatus derives its name from its bi-coloured coat, rufous above and white below, which resembles the coat of a deer.

     It is a very common species, although seldom seen due to its nocturnal habits. I was surprised, therefore, when sitting on the patio in the early evening, to see this little creature emerge from under a low evergreen shrub.

     Deer Mice show considerable differences in size and body mass and the long-tailed variant seen here is an arboreal species, the tail being prehensile, making the animal well-adapted to life in the trees.

     The Deer Mouse is a sociable animal and will take readily to living with humans, becoming an engaging little pet. This individual and I will get along well together as long as it doesn't come into my house, however! 
     Many a lonely trapper living for months alone while working a trapline in the north has enjoyed the company of a Deer Mouse or two in his cabin; no doubt the mouse derived reciprocal pleasure too.

     The birds on the feeders knock down quite a bit of seed as they feed which is no doubt what attracted the mouse.

American Goldfinch Spinus tristis

     It was a hot, humid day and this American Robin Turdus migratorius seemed to take great pleasure in a vigorous soaking in the bird bath.

      A Common Grackle Quiscalus quiscula surveyed the scene from on high before coming down to take its turn at the feeder.

     Grey Squirrels Sciurus carolinensis are ubiquitous in suburban habitats and this adult was still accompanied by a youngster.

     A couple of Song Sparrows Melospiza melodia have been regular visitors to our yard this year and they make sure that they receive their share of the bounty.

     This Blue Jay Cyanocitta cristata visited the bird bath but only to drink and not to bathe. No doubt this species does bathe, but I can't remember ever having seen it do so.

     A pair of Black-capped Chickadees Poecile atricapillus raised a brood in our yard this year and the family still visits from time to time. The feeders provide an easy source of food for parents still occupied with feeding young birds as they transition to full independence.

     I have not seen the Deer Mouse since but I hope that it is still around. It is an engaging little creature and very welcome to share our yard.


  1. Hi. Really great photos. Cute mouse.

  2. Hi David.

    Beautiful pictures you have taken in your garden.
    Beautiful birds come and cute Squirrels.
    The mouse is really funny.

    Groettie from Patricia.

  3. What an adorable little mouse! So much more handsome than the house mouse. I loved the photos of your bird visitors too, quite an array. Blue jays are such a stunning bird, though I suspect their abundance lets some people take them for granted?

  4. What a dear mouse to have around. That tail certainly looks like it can do a serious job of climbing, or the grackle a serios job of damage to someone or something.

    It's funny but almost everyone from your side of the Atlantic who visits my blog and sees European Goldfinch thinks it more attractive to their own yellow goldfinch. I'm not so sure!

    Come and see my droppings - not mouse but probably closely related a million or two years ago.

    1. I think that both goldfinches have a great deal of charm, but yours is more colourful (the male in any event) and perhaps that is more appealing to some. It certainly is a very handsome bird.

  5. We sometimes have mice to eat the seeds the birds drop. They are sweet, as long as they stay outside of the house.

  6. I enjoyed considering the deer mouse. I agree, not in the house. But cute otherwise. Fun to see all your birds too. I can not have a bird feeder this time of year due to bears.

  7. Dearest David,
    That is one cute mouse with its funny eyes. Never have seen one I think and neither have the cats brought me one of these...
    Love the bird pictures very much.

  8. A small and temporary price to pay. We get our country back and a British passport.

  9. wow beautiful snapshot of cute animals. all photos are looking awesome.
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  10. Hey David,
    what a baby is that little mouse ❤❤❤
    Also, your birds are beautiful to see :-)
    Kleruen beautiful as always and lots of details.
    Warm regards, Helma

    PS you can have the pictures of avocets. Enter your email and I'll send you the pictures you want. Say what you want.

    1. All of them!!

    2. I'm always serious David;-)
      I'll send the pictures by email you can print out yourself :-)

      Warm regards, Helma

    3. Hi David,

      I sent a test email with a few pictures to see if it arrives

      I will send show off your photos by email and you can print them yourself leave :)

    4. Would you let me know if the mail arrives?
      Maybe you should look else your spam mail
      My mail is

  11. Hi David. Great shots of your yard critters. I love deer mice, and we have them in our yard too. Such cute little creatures...until they get into your house! Unfortunately for us, they got into our attic. I LOVE mice, so of course I could not set traps that would kill them. We had the pest control people here, finding and sealing the entrance holes, and putting in a one way door so the mice could leave the attic ALIVE, and not get back in. Cost us almost 2 grand. I still love mice, but.......

    1. We had a similar situation with a raccoon, Karen. As you say, humane removal is not cheap!

  12. The mouse is a nice view and I like them, but even more colorful birds. Joy to look at them. * Photos of birds me I did in Zoo. Black swans, however, with us in the wild are. Regards.

  13. Yet another interesting post David,love the Deer Mouse,and Song Sparrow,lovely collection of our favourite birds.

  14. So cute little mouse :)! And bird photos are great!

  15. Wonderful photos! I love the adorable little mouse.

  16. You captured awesome photos but little mouse photos is looking so good to me.
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