The Naturalist’s Notebook


“Observations: March 16, 1996
Time: 9:15 am
Weather: Overcast and cold, slight snow cover

Tiny Trails

After a snowfall in Irving Nature Park you may see two pair of tiny tracks cut by a short horizontal line from a dragging tail! that zig-zag and then disappear at a small hole in the snow. These are the tracks of the Deer Mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus), a tiny mammal less than 10 cm. long with a tail of 5 to 13 cm in length. Its coloring is reddish brown or grey brown fur with white under parts. This little creature uses tunnels made by burrowing larger members of the same family, like voles, mice or rats. Deer mice eat berries, nuts, seeds and insects. These secretive, quick, tiny animals are occasionally seen in the early evening hunting for food. Sometimes you will see the Deer mouse up a tree. For such a small mammal it has a lot of energy. Deer mice have been tracked travelling over half a kilometer searching for food near home in one evening.”

The Naturalist’s Notebook

Copyright © JD Irving