The House Mouse, common throughout all of North America, is sure enough common to both Zion as well as Bryce Canyon National Parks. Dull, grayish brown in color, the House Mouse is 3-3 ½ inches long in the body and has a long, scaly tail of about 3-4 inches.
Most often found around buildings, this uninvited guest survives on all manner of man-made things- not only foods such as bread crumbs and crackers, but even on things like soap and glue. When it comes to nest-building, the House Mouse is known to help himself to anything he can find, from newspapers to pillow feathers and any other soft thing.
Considered a pest species, the House Mouse does not originate in North America, but comes from Asia and reached the New World in the 1500’s stowed away in the cargo of European ships. They breed at an enormous rate, bearing up to 8 litters each year, with as many as a dozen young in a single litter. Though they due not hibernate, they typically will not bred in the colder months if they are living in an area that does get much of a cold winter. Zion and Bryce Canyon National Park both qualify as having such colder winters (especially Bryce Canyon.)
Due to their many predators, the House Mouse rarely lives longer than a year; though in captivity they can live up to 3 years.
If you visit Rising K Ranch to take one of our horseback rides, you will be sure to meet at least a few of our many outdoor farm cats roaming around. The House Mouse is their primary food and is also the primary reason we have the cats on our ranch.