Mammal Identification

Harvest Mouse Micromys minutus

Identification features

Photo: Derek Whiteley
  • They are tiny, golden-brown with white underside.
  • They have a prehensile tail.
  • The rather blunt muzzle can give them something of a vole-like appearance.

Harvest mice are rarely seen but easily recognised. Presence is most easily confirmed by the characteristic summer nests.

Other identification features


Breeding nest - Photo: Anna EvansBreeding nests are spherical, tennis ball-sized or slightly smaller, neatly woven using relatively long strips of grass, and attached to the grass stalks.

Field Vole nests are often larger, are not woven into grass stalks and tend to be more amorphous in shape.

Non-breeding nests are smaller and often more elongated. In tall grasses, nests are sited in the stalk zone. In tussocky grasses they are usually sited at the base of the tussock or occasionally on the side.

non-breeding nest. Photo:Mike Ashford

Some birds' nests may also be woven into grass stems but consist of an open cup rather than a closed ball.

Distribution in Derbyshire information

Photos: Derek Whiteley, Anna Evans, Mike Ashford