Meadow Vole

Microtus pennsylvanicus

The Meadow Vole, or "Field Mouse," is a small, common rodent that lives in grassy fields, woodland, marshes, and along lakes and rivers.

It is five to seven inches long, counting the tail, and usually weighs only and ounce or two. Meadow Voles' color can vary from yellowish-brown to reddish-brown to blackish-brown. They are normally gray on their underparts.

Meadow Voles make nests in clumps of grass, using materials such as dry grass, sedges, and weeds. From their nests, they build "runways," like tunnels beneath the grass and plants.

Meadow Voles are most active at night during the Summer, and during the day if its Winter. They are less active when there's a full moon.

Meadow Voles breed frequently. It is common for a vole to have 12 litters a year. Anywhere between one and eleven young is normal.

Most Meadow Voles live a year to a year and a half.

Meadow Voles' diet includes many things, including grasses, sedges, seeds, flowers, leaves, roots of shrubs and small trees, bark, tubers, bulbs, and sometimes insects.

Some of Meadow Voles' favorites, besides grasses, are clover and plantain. These animals can eat their weight daily.

Meadow Voles do not hibernate, and they do not usually store food. They eat constantly. Voles concentrate on green vegetation in the Summer, and switch to mostly grains and seeds in Fall.

While Meadow Voles use mostly runways, they also build systems of burrows. They are good diggers, as well as good swimmers.

If a vole feels threatened, it will stamp its hindfeet, much like a rabbit. Meadow Voles normally only make noise in order to threaten another vole. Female voles are very territorial.

Meadow Voles are preyed upon by many creatures, including: hawks, owls, foxes, cats, snakes, crows, herons, shrews, skunks, bullfrogs, snapping turtles, largemouth bass, and raccoons.

Copyright, John White

Additional Media

Description
Type
Credit
Meadow Vole Eating and Being Pestered by a Deer Fly
Video
Phil Heine
Meadow Vole
Video
Phil Heine
Download Quicktime if you are unable to play video.

Relationships in Nature:

FOOD/PREY
PREDATORS
SHELTER
OTHER

Black Cherry

Red Fox

Virginia Creeper

American Dog Tick Pa

Sweetgum

Striped Skunk

Poison Ivy

Least Shrew SP

Eastern Redcedar

Raccoon

Bracken Fern

American Holly D

Willow Oak

Common Crow

Red Clover

Black Cherry D

Red Clover

Great Blue Heron

Greenbrier

Eastern Redcedar D

English Plantain

Great Horned Owl

Wild Grape

Eastern Mole SP

Eastern White Pine

Barred Owl

Smooth Sumac

Green Hawthorn D

American Holly

Red-tailed Hawk

Common Reed

Lamb's Quarters D

White Oak

Least Shrew

Common Elderberry

White-footed Mouse SP

Silver Maple

Black Rat Snake

Switchgrass

Chigger Pa

Red Maple

Eastern Hognose Snake

Lamb's Quarters

Norway Rat EC

Switchgrass

Common Snapping Turtle

Common Ragweed

Smooth Crabgrass

Bullfrog

Buttonbush

Green Hawthorn

Largemouth Bass

Running Cedar

Lamb's Quarters

Blue Jay

Climbing Bittersweet

Common Ragweed

Virginia Opossum

Bushy Aster

Kentucky Bluegrass

Eastern Chipmunk

Kentucky Bluegrass

Bigtooth Aspen

Northern Ringneck Snake

Swamp Rose Mallow

River Birch

Eastern Mole

Virginia Rose

Bald Eagle

Relationship to Humans:

Meadow Voles are very usefull to people, since they destroy many plants we consider weeds. They can be a pest when there are too many in one area.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Animal
PHYLUM
Chordate
CLASS
Mammal
ORDER
Rodentia
FAMILY
Muridae
GENUS
Microtus
SPECIES
Microtus pennsylvanicus

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