Friday, 15 March 2013

Yellow-Necked Mouse

Yellow-Necked Mouse
Little Despair

Inadequate size, stunted by modest perception. Your golden suit of silk. Ponderous eyes brimming with interest and curiosity. Every task a deliberation. Every action a consideration. Every sound, every clatter is like a thunderous storm and your ears, like sails, moving your vesssel with ghostly speeds.
 Frightening little intruder, contaminated little thief. 
The world's a hazard, your lifes unfair.
We may be enemies but you are still my friend.
Little Despair.

 The yellow-necked mouse (Apodemus flavicollis) was only regognised a species in 1894 as it is closly related to the wood mouse with which it was long confused with.
At around 10-12cm in length 25-45g in weight, they are larger than the Wood Mouse and are further more identifiable by their yellow fur collar around the neck.
They are very good climbers, having the ability to climb trees. However they still prefere to spend the winters in peoples houses to which they are known to do.
  They are found mostly in Mountainous areas of southern Europe, but they extend north into parts of Scandinavia and Britain. They are considerred to be common.

With a sad lifespan of around a year they make up for in reproduction. The breeding season runs from February to October, during which females give birth to 4-7 young after a gestation period of 23 days. The young are weaned after three weeks. Their distinctive yellow collars become visible after two weeks, at about the same time as they open their eyes.

Yellow-necked mice have a very similar diet to wood mice, feeding on seeds, buds, fruits, insects, worms, centipedes, snails and fungi. 

So I was in my kitchen, filling up a glass of water, when I caught something out the corner of my eye.
Not really bothered by my presence I went by my buisiness as normal and so did he. I actually felt like he had some nerve, acting as if everything was ok. I went upstairs, got my camera, fitted a flash and tripod, went back down the stairs, turned out the lights and waited in the dark kitchen by my rabbits food dish or him to show face again. Did not have to wait very long when sure enough...

He knew I was there. He had to.
But was he bothered?
Doesn't look like it.

I reckon he or she must have a nest nomwhere as they seemed to be stock piling the food.
Aye, back for more, eh?

Only the good stuff though...

I was very suprised actually.  The sound of the shutter from my camera and the flash going off, or my presence did not seem to really bother this guy very much, or at all for that matter.
To give you an idea of his confidence/stupidness, I was only sitting about three feet away from this wee opportunist.

Oh dear, something seems to be worrying you, eh.
Oh thats why. My rabbit. Oh well guys you'll just have to learn to get along...
I could'nt believe my eyes. I had just put my camera away and returned to the kitchen. Both my rabbit and the mouse, sitting on the edge of the dish, eating away, not bothered about the other or myself. It was almost as if they were having a conversation with each other.
Time for bed.

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