Discovered at the side of a local canal bridge, South Staffordshire September 2011. © Peter Hillman.
The Bank Vole is one of Britain’s smallest voles. Typically it has a reddish-chestnut coloured coat and a cream underbelly. It has large ears, small eyes, a rounded snout and a short hairy tail. Similar to the Field Vole (Microtus agrestis), which is larger and has a shorter tail ( tail length half the body length, two-thirds in Bank Vole).
It is always on the alert for danger, as it has many predators like snakes, foxes, owls and kestrels. Nests are in shallow burrows beneath the earth which it lines with leaves, grass, moss or feathers. The female has litters of up to 3 to 5 blind young between April and October. Active day or night, it forages for food for fairly long distances. It can live for up to 18 months. Feeds on grass, roots, nuts, seeds, insects and earthworms. It is a good climber and will climb up vegetation to eat fruit.
Size: Head & body length 8-12 cm; tail length 3.3-48 cm.
When seen: All year round.
Habitat: Broadleaf woodland, scrubland, hedgerows, parks and sometimes well established gardens.
Status & distribution: Native to Great Britain, common and widespread.
Class: Mammalia (Mammals)
Order: Rodentia (Rodents)
Family: Cricetidae (Voles)
Species: Myodes glareolus (Schreber, 1780)
Species recorded and verified via iRecord.