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Hazel Dormouse

Muscardinus avellanarius


Britains only native Dormouse Hazel dormice are the only small mammals in Britain to have a completely furry tail (pic 3) They have golden-brown fur and large black eyes. It is 6 to 9 cm long with a tail of 5.7 to 7.5 cm


Deciduous woodland with a good, varied shrub understory and large, overgrown hedgerows. Once widespread in the UK , they are now rare and vulnerable to extinction due to loss of habitat. They are mostly found only in the southern counties of England and Wales.


Hazel Dormice are nocturnal. In winter, dormice hibernate in nests beneath the leaf litter on the forest floor,or as in my photos nestboxes (last pic) When they wake up in spring, they build woven nests of honeysuckle bark and fresh leaves in the undergrowth. They eat flowers, honeysuckle and pollen in spring. Fruits, hazelnuts, and sweet chestnuts, as well as aphids and other small insects, in the autumn. Dormice open hazelnuts in a very unique way. They make a round hole in the shell of the hazelnut and leave clear teeth markings on the outside of the shell whilst the inside has no marks and is very smooth (fourth pic)

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62 Comments (1–25)

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 9 years ago


staccyh 9 years ago

OMG, the cutest thing I've seen today!! Great photos :)

medusasnakes123 10 years ago

Did you know that back in the day, like I mean WAY back in the day, that Dormice were way over-feed and then stuffed with food and then eaten at royal parties and balls?

HazelMarley 10 years ago

It's so chubby! In the last pic are those trees?

sanmiggums 10 years ago


Sintija Valucka
Sintija Valucka 10 years ago

Amazingly cute!!!! :)

Liam 10 years ago


Cris 10 years ago

Que bonitinhos!!

flyingfrogconcepts 10 years ago

I love the little pink fists and tightly shut eyes as if they were concentrating really hard on sleeping.

MrsPbio 10 years ago


Braulio Rivas Tapia
Braulio Rivas Tapia 10 years ago


naross 10 years ago

Lenny, this is the photo that led me to Project Noah. Thanks for that because it has inspired me on so many levels. These are fabulous photos, and the first Dormice (?) I've ever seen. How adorable they are. Cheers. Neil :-)

Wild Things
Wild Things 10 years ago

Congratulations on the spotting of the week!

Ajwerko 10 years ago

Well deserved SOTW!! Congrats!

RiekoS 10 years ago

Congratulations Lenny for been chosen National Geographic Spotting of the Week! That is so very special!

KarenL 10 years ago

Congratulations Lenny! This adorable pair have been chosen National Geographic Spotting of the Week!

Once widespread in Britain, the hazel dormouse is now vulnerable due to loss of habitat.

KatCuff 10 years ago


Jacob Gorneau
Jacob Gorneau 10 years ago

Terrific series! Congratulations on Spotting of the Day!

Harsha Singh
Harsha Singh 10 years ago

Super cute! Congrats!

NuwanChathuranga 10 years ago

Congratulations Lenny!!

SandraPereira 10 years ago

Wonderful ..congrats on SOTD !!

Jolly Ibañez
Jolly Ibañez 10 years ago

Congratulations Lenny. Beautiful series.


batex 10 years ago


Maria dB
Maria dB 10 years ago

Wonderful and informative spotting - congratulations!

Spotted by

Wales, United Kingdom

Spotted on Oct 17, 2009
Submitted on Apr 15, 2013

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