An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

What Goes On Beneath Our Feet In Winter

Alfred's mouse2 2018-01-16 20.39.08 (003)It’s fairly unusual to see Deer or White-footed Mice, especially in the winter – they are nocturnal and they spend much of their time in the airspace under the snow next to the ground known as the subnivean layer. (A blanket of snow traps the earth’s heat, which melts the bottom of the snow, creating this layer of space.) Here both Deer Mice and White-footed Mice travel extensively, protected from both the cold (it stays within a degree or two of 32 F. regardless of outside temperature) and the eyes of predators. On cold winter days, groups including both species of mice keep warm by huddling in a common nest. (Photo of White-footed/Deer Mouse – extremely difficult to tell the difference by sight – by Alfred Balch.)

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12 responses

  1. Alice Pratt

    What a cutie!

    January 26, 2018 at 8:26 am

  2. Brenda Metzler

    I love this photo!! Brought a smile and a chuckle on this chilly Jan morning – thank you, Mary!

    January 26, 2018 at 8:37 am

  3. Mary E Quinn

    They are sweet! But I thought that they all live in our attic insulation. Even warmer there.

    January 26, 2018 at 8:49 am

    • Alice Pratt

      Your attic must be their summer residence 😮

      January 26, 2018 at 8:55 am

  4. Sweet photograph and helpful information.

    January 26, 2018 at 9:15 am

  5. Kate

    I assume you mean both species huddle together?

    January 26, 2018 at 9:25 am

  6. Victoria Davis

    Great photo, Alfred!

    January 26, 2018 at 9:38 am

  7. Doug

    Some of them like the warmer space of my house, to the delight of our cats.

    January 26, 2018 at 9:45 am

  8. Great shot!

    January 26, 2018 at 10:27 am

  9. Another intriguing post. Hey, say hi to my old pal Alfred; I haven’t seen him in too many years. He must be a great resource for you!

    January 26, 2018 at 10:41 am

    • Alfred’s the best tracker I know! I will say hi.

      January 26, 2018 at 1:15 pm

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