What kind of shrew is this?

Asked June 8, 2018, 2:32 PM EDT

I found a shrew alive in my house. He is just a few inches long and was easy to catch. I held him for several minutes to find a quart jar and didn't get bitten. I live within 20 yards of a creek. The cat may have brought him in but he seems to be unharmed. Can you tell what kind of shrew he is from pictures?

Benton County Oregon wildlife

1 Response

Shrew ID can be challenging - usually we depend on detailed tooth characteristics for positive ID. However, from coloration, relative tail length, and your location, my first guess would be a Pacific shrew (Sorex pacificus) and my second guess would be a vagrant shrew (Sorex vagrans). The vagrant shrew is more of a habitat generalist and in Doug fir areas would tend to be found in riparian areas. The Pacific shrew is generally found in moist wooded areas with downed wood and/or brushy vegetation. Both are insect-eaters.