The Dormouse world

   Curled cosily into a ball, a common (or hazel) dormouse is sleeping soundly in the damp chill of a European November. It lies on its back in its snug nest, eyes shut and nose pressed towards its tail. Sometimes, it clasps its hind legs with its fore feet, making the ball even tighter.
The dormouse made its hibernation nest-a ball of neatly woven, dried grass-in October among dead leaves at the base of a hazel bush. It will sleep out the winter there until April.

   Dormouse hibernation
   During November the dormouse enters the deepest period of its hibernation. It is cold and seemingly dead, and rarely makes the slightest stir, especially if the weather is cold. Later in the winter it will become more restless and from time to time will wheeze and whistle into wakefulness. This restlessness begins as its body releases hormones into its bloodstream as spring and the breeding season approach.

   Dormouse appearance
   A dormouse looks like a plump, gingery-coloured mouse, but its hairy tail, its agility and its liking for the treetops give it some likeness to a squirrel. The dormouse especially loves thickets where oak, hazel and other berry and nut-producing trees are intertwined with a tangle of honeysuckle, bramble and dense undergrowth. Dormice feed at night, in spring and summer on insects and flowers such as catkins. In autumn they grow plump on nuts, fruits and berries - laying on fat to sustain them through hibernation.

The Dormouse hibernates for 6 of 7 months of the year