Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
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  Rodentia · Cricetidae · Microtus miurus
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Microtus miurus

Singing Vole

Order: Rodentia
Family: Cricetidae

Image of Microtus miurus
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Conservation Status: Least Concern.


Singing Voles are known for two remarkable behaviors. One is the construction of hay piles to provide food during the long northern winters. The hay piles are built off the ground at the base of a shrub or on a well-drained slope, and most of them are made by juveniles. Willow shoots, horsetail, and many other plants are found in the hay piles, which can be tiny but are sometimes as large as 30 liters. The second behavior of note is their "singing," which is a metallic, "churring" sound. Their calls may be territorial, or they may be warnings of nearby predators. The Voles live in burrows dug in well-drained soil or under rocks.

Also known as:
Alaska Haymouse, Alaska Vole, Toklat Vole

Sexual Dimorphism:
None

Length:
Average: 147 mm males; 148 mm females
Range: 125-163 mm males; 126-168 mm females

Weight:
Average: 39 g males; 38 g females
Range: 22.5-60 g males; 28-52 g females

References:

Osgood, W.H., 1901.  North American Fauna, 21:64.

Links:

Mammal Species of the World

Distribution of Microtus miurus

Image of Microtus miurus
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