Yellow-necked mice are a more uncommon species and you may not be familiar with them. They have a nice temperament, although they are wild and do not make good pets.
They have a distinctive yellow patch of fur on their collars which gives them their name. You you think you have some on land near you, you should be able to identify them if you look carefully enough.
Let’s take a look at how they live, survive, what they eat, and their other behaviours and habits.
Yellow Necked Mice Description
Yellow-necked mice are typically between 9-13 centimeters from their nose to their tails. With their tails also being between 9-13 centimeters in length.
They weigh around 20-30 grams fully grown. Making them bigger than your standard house mice, and distinctly different looking so you’re not going to mistaken for one if you see one.
The top of their bodies have dark brown fur, and their underbellies have orange flanks. Their name yellow-neck comes from the yellow collar marking’s they have. Their large eyes, long tails and large ears are other distinguishable characteristics.
Their scientific name is apodemus flavicollis.
Yellow-Necked Mice Habitat
The interesting thing about yellow-necked mice is that they stay very close to where they live. Usually not going outside of half a hectare. They will nest somewhere they have a food source and shelter.
They can live happily overlapping with other mice and their living areas. They can fight to defend territory, but they are largely placid and mild tempered.
They prefer woodlands and nature spots with lots of nature activity. Choosing to nest under ground level around stumps of trees and large hedges. They collect dry leaves, moss and grass to build up their nesting area.
Yellow-Necked Mice Behaviour
Yellow-necked mice do not hibernate like other mice, they are active all year round. During the winter it’s not uncommon to find a group of them nesting together to stay warm in their nests.
They are incredibly competent climbers and can jump from tree branches and bushes with ease. Their burrows often become long and complex in construction over time, and they use different areas to keep food and sleep.
They will bring nesting materials into their burrows and make areas more comfortable. They are busy and interesting rodents to watch going about their business. Very good at finding food and storing it up.
They are nocturnal creatures and can see really well at night. To see these mice in their natural habitat is difficult and rare. You would have to go out of your way to catch them.
What Do Yellow-Necked Mice Eat
They eat mostly seeds, fruit, insects like spiders, larvae and other scraps in the wild. They are omnivores, so they will and can eat just about anything they come across.
They store their food in burrows they have made underground and can stockpile enough to cover winter months. Their diets are very similar to that of a wood mouse.
Yellow-Necked Mice Breeding
The breeding cycle for yellow-necked mice is February to October. With their peak breeding months are July and August. A female will typically have 2-3 litters, each with 3-10 young each year.
Gestation period lasts for 23 days. After three weeks the offspring are finished weaning and start becoming active. That distinctive yellow collar on their neck becomes visible after around two weeks just as they are opening their eyes.
Yellow-Necked Mouse Life Expectancy
Their life expectancy is between 2-3 years. It’s hard to put an accurate number on their lifespan because they are at risk of so many predators in the wild. Foxes, owls, and weasels are among their main predators.
The yellow-necked mouse is good at evading predators with their agility, speed, and their tail skin is also detachable. If they are stressed or their tails are being held tight they can shed the skin to escape.
They also find harsh winters hard to survive, especially if they are a couple of years old. They need warmth and will huddle together with other mice to try and preserve some heat.