I though it might be a bit tough to come up with a #backyardbiodiversity post for each week during the winter. But look what the cat dragged in....not literally. There has been a mouse in our house for the past month, and live traps did not get him. My cat Marm is more interested in the chase rather than the capture, but she is a good mouse tracker, I could always tell when the mouse was out and about. Well on Monday the mouse ran out from underneath the oven and into one of our small bedrooms and Marm followed. After securing the facilities, I was able to trick the mouse into running into a cardboard box and quickly covered the top. I then released him into the woods out behind our house, and I've been leaving a pile of sunflower seeds near the release site, hoping he decides to stay outside.
I ID'd him as a deermouse with the help of iNaturalist, it was either a deermouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) or a white-footed mouse (P. leucopus). The pics were not good enough to discern the coloration on the tail for a better ID. Both species are common and found throughout North America. According to the internet (sorry not my best lit search skills today) there are either 56 subspecies or 56 species of deermice in North America, either way that's a lot of variation.
How do scientist determine a subspecies versus a species? Ha ha, that discussion is for another post.
As a side note, my pics for this backyard biodiversity series are supposed to be mostly from my phone camera. I aim to get as good of a picture as I can which can be quite tricky not using a regular camera. The close up pics of this mouse are OK, but not as in focus as I would like. And the subjects are any species that I find during my usual wanderings (either at home or in town).