30 July 2009

An unwarranted invasion of privacy

I was tidying up the pots in the greenhouse this afternoon. An innocent enough activity, you might think. As I emptied one of the white plastic boxes in there, I was startled to find a mouse running around in the bottom of it. When I realised that I'd disturbed her in the process of giving birth (the baby was still attached!), I was mortified. Though quite why she chose that particular location, I'm not sure. There weren't any nesting materials in there, so perhaps she got trapped?

With the seed trays that had been in the box removed, she managed to jump out, but left the poor baby behind.

I tipped it out onto the greenhouse floor, but don't have a lot of hope that she'll come back for it.

I think she was a deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus). According to Wikipedia they normally have litters of around four young, so I'm hoping that she's got a nest somewhere where she can give birth to the other babies in a more private setting. What with this and the mole nest I disturbed in April, I'm beginning to get a bit nervous about doing any tidying-up in the garden.


June said...

Oh, how terrible. What a sweet face she has. It's not my favorite thing to mix with mice, but this makes me feel just awful. Poor you.

Anonymous said...

Oh Amanda, how sweet, and how sad too! You are a magnet for nature I think.

Jan said...

We just had the same thing happen yesterday. Hubby disturbed a nest of newborn deer mice when he was cutting wood. By the end of the day momma mouse had not returned and the babies were getting very cold. I grabbed the 4 of them and now they are being fed and cleaned every 3-4 hours by me. They made it through the night so that is a good sign.

Amanda said...

Oh dear, Jan, sounds as though you've lumbered yourself with quite a difficult job there! I hope the babies are almost fully grown and will be off your hands before too long. I admire your perseverance.