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Mice, shrews and voles - a quick guide

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Paul Deane Paul Deane | 17:53 UK time, Thursday, 7 June 2012

Although these three can be mistaken for each other, there are some key characteristics that will help you spot them at a glance.

So here's a quick guide to distinguishing a vole, a shrew and a mouse as it races past.

Voles and Mice

Voles, mice and shrews - a quick guide

Now that you can spot these three, you can get onto identifying the species within each group.

The Mammal Society () gives you the essential facts of various mammal species, including their ecology, biology, and conservation.

North Pennines AONB have produced this useful guide to identifying small mammal species is this the pennine area.


  • Comment number 1.

    Hi, we have a peanut bird feeder hug from a tree in our garden. Weeks ago this was frequently visited by a Harvest Mouse who climed the tree and desended the branches to reach the feeder. Soon there was a pair of mice doing this and now it appears that the offspring are now feeding from the same source. Should we leave this feeder out? A couple of mice are a pleasure to watch but we don't want to encourage an infestation.

  • Comment number 2.

    Dear Springwatch

    I have studied squirrels for many years now and after watching this clip on the grey squirrel jumping about as though he was drunk, well he's not, I can assure you he is just playing like a cat

    Dawn Louise

  • Comment number 3.

    We have recently discovered a mouse living with our guinea pig. They seem quite happy together but if anyone has any advice whether this is wise or not please let us know! Thanks

  • Comment number 4.

    I love mice - we used to get nests in our old house because we kept grass seed in the shed and it was close to a nature reserve. Interestingly enough my pet snake Salem is fascinated by the mice and voles on Springwatch. He doesn't strike but just sways his head watching them. It's so funny! (Salem doesn't eat live prey)

  • Comment number 5.

    Have been lucky to see a shrew. Whilst walking through woodland I could hear rustling in the dried leaves on the ground. The leaves were moving and out ran a shrew. :)

  • Comment number 6.

    emergency!!!!! a injured black bird chick just fell out of its nest, can someone emeidetly tell me what to do


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