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Brush Mouse (Peromyscus boylii ) are large, long tailed, and short eared, gray-brown to buff-brown with a whitish gray venter. The sides are often brighter orange-brown. The feet are white but the ankles are gray or dusky.
The indistinctly bicolored tail is longer than the length of the head and body. Measurements are: total length 180-220 mm; length of tail 80-115 mm; length of hindfoot 20-24 mm; length of ear 15-22 mm, weight 20-30 g.
Brush Mice occupy rocky and brushy or forested environments in which rock ledges, piles of brush, fallen trees, and boulders offer shelter and denning sites. Although they are reportedly good climbers, they only occasionally build their nests in tree cavities. Within their enormous range, these Mice are found only at elevations above 2,000 m. They consume many kinds of nuts, seeds, and fruit, including grass seeds, acorns, pine nuts, hackberries, juniper berries, and fir seeds.
Habitat: They live in montane shrublands, piĂ±on-juniper woodlands, riparian cottonwood stands, willow thickets, or brushy salt-cedar (tamarisk) bottoms. They usually favor areas of rough, broken terrain with boulders and heavy brush.
Diet: Acorns, Juniper â€śberries,â€ť mistletoe, prickly-pear, and insects are important foods in their diet.
They are adept at climbing. Victor Cahalane observed that several mice, upon escaping from his live traps, fled into trees in preference to running on the ground. They climbed easily, but not fast, and seemed to be at home off the ground. Without doubt they garner much of their food in trees and utilize hollows in them for dens.
They are almost entirely nocturnal in habit and are active the year round. They feed on a variety of plant items. In the Guadalupe Mountains, they feed extensively on pine nuts and Douglas fir seeds; in the oak belt, acorns are a favorite item. They also feed on hackberries, juniper berries, and cactus fruits.
The breeding season extends through most of the year. Gravid females have been taken from May to December, but the presence of half-grown young in May indicates that breeding begins as early as March or April. Several litters of two to five young may be reared in a year, but the peak of production is in spring and early summer.
The young are blind and hairless and weigh about 2 g at birth. Usually these mice are of little or no economic importance except in instances where they occur in numbers around and in cabins and granaries in wooded areas. In such instances they can be removed readily by trapping.
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