Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Harvest Mice in new hide-away

Two in frayed rope (cropped)

I captured this endearing image of two of our juvenile Harvest Mice earlier today – they have taken the ends of a frayed rope within their enclosure and creatively built themselves a snug hide-away (or perhaps a luxury hammock!)

In the wild these tiny Mice usually inhabit dry reed beds, hedgerows, bramble bushes, hay meadows and some crop fields. They are very active, agile little animals, using their prehensile tail to grasp grass stalks. By winding their tail around a stalk they can quickly climb up tall stems to find the seeds at the top. They feed mainly on seeds, buds, berries, fruit, bulbs, and new grass shoots, but a small proportion of their diet is made up of insects, particularly in the summer, as well as roots, moss and fungi. They hide some of their food underground ready for the less abundant winter months.

Here at the Park we take pride in providing our resident Harvest Mice with a varied diet – incorporating as much of their natural grains, seeds, berries and fruit as possible. We regularly place wild flowers inside their enclosure – not only to provide a varied food source but also as enrichment. The flowers, leaves and stalks (including the inevitable accompanying insect) seem to be a real feast for their senses – it’s very rewarding to watch as the little Mice examine their new foliage with obvious excitement – the very moment it arrives!

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