A small rodent of the family of Gliridae, widespread in our countryside from the plain up to an altitude of 1500 metres.
It is smaller than the squirrel, reaching a length of about 30 cm including the tail, (long and furred, this alone can measure up to 15 cm) and weighing between 70 and 80 grams. It has soft grey fur, a pointed muzzle and round hairless ears sticking up on top of its head.
It prefers to live in the woods, but it is curious and is quite happy with gardens, parks (and ..... country houses) where it can easily find food and make its nest. (It feeds on acorns, berries, shoots, seeds, fruit - walnuts, hazelnuts, blueberries - insects and birds' eggs.
In the summer the "song" of the dormouse is frequently heard from dusk on, almost all through the night. In fact, in summer the dormouse sleeps during the day while it is hyperactive in the evening: it climbs, seeks food, builds its winter nest, plays, eats and cares for its young.
The dormouse builds its own nests (two, one for the summer and one for the winter!), using dry leaves, twigs and bark, moss and any soft material that it can find.
For the summer nest it usually chooses holes (but also forks) in the upper leafy part of trees.
For the winter nest, for the period of hibernation, which can last 6 or 7 months, it chooses a site lower down, sometimes in a hollow trunk, but not necessarily in a tree, sometimes among the rocks or even underground!! Even farm buildings and the attics of houses are attractive to dormice, which use the electric cables, insulation and furniture as material to eat and build their refuges!!