Caring for and Healing the Earth

Wild Animals & Birds

Construction of Natural "Mouse Houses"

At the Caretaker class of Feb 1998 and Nov 2001 instruction was given on the construction of natural animal shelters, in particular "mouse houses". The purpose of making mouse houses is to encourage mice and other small animals to move back into an area that they are no longer present in, or to increase the populations where shelter is lacking.  Of course, they also need cover, water, and food. But here we are only dealing with shelter.

You may be asking, "Why on Earth would someone want to encourage mice to inhabit an area?". The answer is simple. Mice are near the bottom of the food chain. By encouraging mice, you indirectly encourage the predators of mice, such as foxes, coyotes, owls, raptors, etc. to also inhabit the area.


The construction of mouse houses is illustrated here and is quite simple. The same principles can be applied to building shelters for larger animals.

Gather thin branches or saplings that will bend without breaking.

Bend these into loops about one foot in diameter and tie them.

Put two or three loops together to form a sphere.

Stuff the hollow sphere with leaves and other natural dry debris.

Optionally, additional layers may be added to make the structure larger.

Here is a picture of a couple of finished mouse houses, with one that has just been started in between them.
A pile of finished mouse houses (at the Caretaker class of Nov 2001).

Mouse House placement

These pictures from the November 2001 Caretaker class illustrate 
the placement of the mouse houses in the outdoors.

Tom Brown explaining to the class the placement of the mouse house -- how to select the best location, and how to place it.
Tom Brown, continuing his explanation.

The "installed" mouse house is barely visible at the bottom of this picture, in the center, a slightly darker patch of leaves.

The mouse house that Tom "installed", with a notebook for scale.

The mouse house is the patch of leaves to the left of the notebook. 

Closeup of the mouse house.
Some Caretaker class students placing their mouse houses.

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