Voles


Field Mouse (Microtus pennsylvanicus)

Found anywhere in open grass-land, along hedgerows, even in suburban yards, this fat, friendly mouse is active throughout the year. In winters with good snow cover (giving predator protection) the population builds rapidly, and in spring the colony activity pattern is readily traced as the snow disappears. This mouse is not always beloved; he enjoys stripping the bark from apple, hawthorn and other trees or shrubs. While some still try to control this behavior with poisons or repellents (really poisons as well) the only real protection is a mouse-proof barrier around the tree. In early years on the Island plagues of field mice seriously threatened human food supplies; now he is just a bit of a nuisance. On the positive side, this mouse is staple food for fox, coyote, owls, several hawks, and is thus important to our environment.

 

Red-backed vole  (Clethrionomys gapperi)

Smaller and usually less common than the field vole, this nice guy is readily identified by his reddish back and sides. This rodent is strictly a woodland-dweller, at least locally. I often see them along old stone dikes running through abandoned farmland which has reverted to forest. Also important to avian predators, this animal will thrive as long as there is reasonable cover, such as coarse debris, in the woods.

Upcoming Events

Sep
23
Sat
7:00 pm September Stargazing
September Stargazing
Sep 23 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Learn a little about the night sky and get to know a few constellations. This outing will teach some basics of astronomy and then head out into the dark for naked-eye stargazing. Begins at the
Oct
15
Sun
2:00 pm Autumn Walk in the Forest
Autumn Walk in the Forest
Oct 15 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Autumn Walk in the Forest @ Macphail Woods Nature Centre | Vernon Bridge | Prince Edward Island | Canada
Woodlands are wonderful places at any time of the year, but a forest in autumn is always special. There are still lots of birds around, the witch hazel is blooming, and many plants are showing