Voles, no matter what species, are quite common in appearance. They are rather stocky in form, having short legs, a short tail and a dense little body. Voles have very small ears which barely protrude out of their fur. While voles are often confused with the house mouse, they are much larger. In fact, meadow voles are nearly 2/3’s larger than the house mouse. Depending on species they voles can vary in length from five (5) inches to eight and a half (8 ½) inches including their tails. One (1) sure way to tell them apart from the house mouse is the tail which on voles is fully furred.
While the fur of the vole will vary in color from black to brown to red it will always be very course with the bottom, or belly side, lighter in color. In winter the voles fur will turn much lighter changing to a grayish color with a duller sheen. The feet of the meadow voles will be darker than those of the montane vole species which are prevalent west of the Rocky Mountain range.