White-footed mice are skilled climbers, sometimes caching food or making nests in
tree hollows. Here, a mouse avoids be weighed by climbing the Pesola scale.
Interestingly, the white-footed mouse has not colonized many of the barrier islands off the Eastern Shore, with the exception of four islands (Assateague, Wallops, Cedar, and Fishermans; Moncreif and Dueser, 1994). While there is certainly great habitat for them, they have not been documented on any of the other islands. This is surprising, as P. leucopus has great homing abilities and has well documented swimming abilities. It could be that the intercoastal water conditions are too prohibitive.
There is no scientific merit to this picture, except that the mouse looks funny while
trying to bite the Pesola scale so that it can escape. Actually, wriggling and biting, besides their speed,
is their only defense once captured by predators.
This species favors hardwood forests as well as the edges of forests and fields. On the shore, they are found in myrtle shrublands and marshes. While typically not hallmarked for their presence in coastal areas, they also seem to abound in drier mixed hardwood-pine forests.
Linzey, D.W. 1998. The Mammals of Virginia. The McDonald & Woodward Publishing Company: Blacksburg, VA.
Moncreif, N.D. and R.D. Dueser. 1994. Island Hoppers. Virginia Explorer 10(4): 14-19.
Webster, WM. D., J.F. Parnell, and W.C. Biggs, Jr. Mammals of the Carolinas, Virginia, and Maryland. The University of North Carolina Press: Chapel Hill, NC.