California Vole

Microtus californicus

 

Natural History of California Voles

California vole. Photo copyright Kim A. Cabrera 2008. A California vole. This animal is also known as the meadow mouse.
   
vole scat
Vole scat
   
Vole tunnel in grass. Photo copyright Kim A. Cabrera 2009.

A vole tunnel from a vole's eye view. Voles make tiny tunnels underneath the grass. Their habitat usually has plenty of tall, tangly grass in which they feed, hide, and live their entire lives.

 
A small hole showing an entrance to a vole tunnel.
 

Vole scats can be found throughout their runs through the grass. The red arrows indicate the scats in the photo above.

 
Looking down a vole tunnel that was found under an abandoned piece of plywood.
 
Looking down a vole tunnel in the grass.
 
This vole tunnel was found under an abandoned piece of plywood in a field.
 
A vole's eye view of one of its tunnels.
 
Vole tunnel in grass.
 

A vole dug this tunnel to get to seeds that were dropped from a bird feeder above. Rather than running across open ground, it is safer for voles to use tunnels to travel. They are protected this way from predators from above, like hawks.

 
Measuring a vole tunnel.
 
 
Vole saved from a cat.  Photo copyright Kim A. Cabrera 2008.
A vole that was caught by a domestic cat. I retrieved the vole from the cat and checked to see if it was injured. Aside from a possibly injured toe, it was OK. I took some photos of it and released it.
   

Vole with injured toe.  Photo copyright Kim A. Cabrera 2008.

The vole posed for a few photos nicely. It refused to eat though. Too scared.

 
Vole hind foot.  Photo copyright Kim A. Cabrera 2008.

This toe may have been injured in its encounter with the cat, or it could have been that way  for a while. The animal got around OK and didn't seem bothered by it.

 
Fresh vole scats.  Photo copyright Kim A. Cabrera 2008.
These tiny scats were fresh from a vole. Vole scats can normally be found inside its grassy tunnels.
 
 
Vole being released.  Photo copyright Kim A. Cabrera 2008.
The vole as it was being released. It scampered away into the grass.
 
 
vole lower jaw bone
The lower jaw of a vole - unknown species.

 

Personal Notes on California Voles

Voles are very common, but we don't often see them. I did find that they don't run from noisy lawnmowers though. They are used to living in their tunnels and even such a noisy intrusion doesn't drive them away. I had cut some grass and saw something moving ahead of the mower. I stopped and found that it was a vole, still trying to use its tunnels, even though they had been opened to daylight by the mower. I caught the vole and moved it to a safer habitat -  one that wasn't going to be mowed!

 

Find vole posters, greeting cards, postage stamps and more in my new store.

Visit Beartracker's Nature Store online store at: www.dirt-time.com   Happy tracking!!

What else can you find in the nature store? Beartracker's animal tracks coloring book, T-shirts, sweatshirts, journals, book bags, toddler and infant apparel, mouse pads, posters, postcards, coffee mugs, travel mugs, clocks, Frisbees, bumper stickers, hats, stickers, and many more items. All with tracks or paw  prints, or nature scenes. Custom products are available. If you don't see the track you want on the product you want, email me and I can probably create it. Proceeds from all sales go to pay the monthly fees for this web site. You can help support this site as well as get great tracking products! Thank you!

 

Find other tracking products: www.zazzle.com/tracker8459*

 

 

Also visit these fine stores for more products of interest:

NDN Pride shop - For Indian Pride items for all tribes. Custom items available on request.

ASL Signs of Love - For anyone who uses or is learning ASL, American Sign Language. Custom name items and more are available here.

Get Every Child Outdoors (Get E.C.O.) - My shop dedicated to nature and getting kids interested in nature and the outdoors.

Sales from all stores give commissions to Beartracker's Animal Tracks Den, which helps keep this site online as a free service. We are celebrating ten years online this year!

 

 

Looking for a Gift? This site lets you customize a gift card with your own photo. Commissions earned when you buy from this link help keep Beartracker's Animal Tracks Den online! Thank you!

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Thank you and happy tracking!

 

 

 

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tracker777@hotmail.com

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Copyright 1997, 2013. Text, photos, and drawings by Kim A. Cabrera

Updated: June 25, 2013.

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