The bank vole is rich, chestnut-brown above, and white below. Distribution & Habitat Field voles are found throughout mainland Britain and remains date back to before the end of the last glaciation, 11000 years ago. Voles, like mice, are also rodents. Field voles are one of the most numerous British mammals and because they are heavy breeders, populations in a favourable habitat often increase their populations to thousands and is known as a ‘vole plague’. Short-tailed voles are 9.5-13.5cm long and breed all summer. Shrew. Description: Grey-brown fur above, creamy-grey fur below, has tail much shorter than the bank vole, and fur is shaggier, covering the ears.
The fourth species is the Orkney vole which is found on five of the Orkney Isles. The climbing ability of the common vole is very poor. Voles are seldom seen outside these runways, which enable a faster and safer locomotion and easier orientation. Barn Owl habitat: Vole holes and other signs of Field Voles. Also known as 'field mice', these rodents are accomplished tunnel diggers, burrowing the ground in search of roots and bulbs, which they feed upon.
Further up the food chain, it forms an extremely important part of the diet of many predators, such as kestrels, weasels and barn owls. It is richer in colour than the similar field vole and has a proportionally longer tail. When this happens, competition for space and food and increased aggression leads to less successful breeding, with the result of a population decline. The Field Vole resembles a small mouse, but with a stouter body and shorter tail. Field Voles are listed by numerous sources as favouring grassland, heathland and moorland whilst Bank Voles reportedly prefer parks, gardens, woodland and hedgerows. It is however not possible to tell the two species based on habitat alone and to properly identify your particular romping rodent you must take a much closer look. They look very similar to the bank vole but have longer dark brown fur, smaller ears and shorter tails. Field voles breed from March to October, with females producing 4 -6 young after a gestation period of 18 – 20 days. Research shows that these birds are able to raise more young when field vole numbers are higher. The meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus), sometimes called the field mouse or meadow mouse, is a North American vole found across Canada, Alaska and the northern United States. In fact, the Field Vole is one of the most frequently found small rodents in the countryside of Britain and Europe. Here’s a photo guide all about Vole holes and how to spot them. When this happens, competition for space and food and increased aggression leads to less successful breeding, with the result of a population decline. Voles have blunter, rounder faces, smaller ears and eyes, and shorter tails than mice. Short-tailed vole (Microtus agrestis) Unlike mice, voles have short noses and ears. Field voles inhabit grassland, meadows and marshland as they mainly feed on green leaves and grass. If Field Voles are present, their holes may be spotted easily from November to March Nationally, Field Voles comprise 45% of Barn Owl diet. They are absent from a number of islands including Shetland, the Isle of Man, Isles of Scilly, Lundy and Ireland and replaced by larger Orkney and Guernsey voles on the respective islands. Barn Owls need a plentiful supply of prey mammals – their favourite, in the UK, is the Field Vole. Well the field vole has an even shorter tail than the bank vole and, because of this, it is often known as the ‘short-tailed vole’. Field voles are one of the most numerous British mammals and because they are heavy breeders, populations in a favourable habitat often increase their populations to thousands and is known as a ‘vole plague’. The field vole (also known as the short-tailed vole) is very common in grassland, heathland and moorland habitats. Field voles are active both day and night, but especially at dusk and dawn.
As many as one per square metre has been recorded. Field Vole - Microtus agrestis Taxon: Rodentia General fact sheet (click to download) Habitat: Urban & gardens, deciduous woodland, grassland, mixed woodland, heathland, arable land. The field vole population is not considered under threat, although changing agricultural practices may have reduced habitat availability. The tail is one-third of the length of the rest of the vole. They are active in the day but are seldom seen and less active in the winter. Field voles are an important small mammal in Britain because so many predators depend on them as a food source. It is active day and night and eats seeds, roots and leaves. The larger species like the water vole may live for around 18 months.