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I’m sure if you have noticed different marks on their feet, you will soon notice the facial differences once you focus more on them. I have only recently started noticing that some of them have different ‘blobs’ on their legs as well.
The hedgehogs in your films look a bit different to the ones here, and it almost makes me wonder whether they have evolved slightly differently. I was looking at a world distribution map of hedgehogs and it does look as if the ones in Sweden may be slightly isolated from those in the rest of Europe. Of course the ones here are isolated from those in mainland Europe as well. Do you have books about hedgehogs in Sweden? Are many people interested in them?
I notice that you are much more ‘hands on’ with the hedgehogs than I am here, but wonder whether that is partly because you and the hedgehogs are around together more, during daylight hours. I can see why you handle them – to encourage the children to be more interested in them, which is a good thing. I suppose there, the hedgehogs don’t have any choice but to venture out during daylight. If they were out during daylight, here, it would be worrying and may indicate that they are unwell. It is nearly always dark when the hedgehogs visit my garden. I put food and water out, but avoid too much interaction with them and like to watch their behaviour from inside the house – only catching them if they need help for some reason. We don’t get much opportunity of filming them during daylight – only occasionally in mid-summer. Lots of people here have night, motion sensitive, cameras to film the hedgehogs, but of course they are all in black and white.
It sounds as if hibernation there is quite a bit earlier than here. Here the males usually go first – that can be early to mid-September. The females are left to get on with looking after the hoglets. Once the hoglets are independent most of the females disappear and then the hoglets can be around quite a while later. I still (unusually – they normally disappear early November) have one adult female visiting. She is one of the regulars and has been visiting for many years. There are also two independent hoglets (possibly hers, but no way of telling).
I am glad to hear we are not the only ones showing interest in hedgehog droppings! It often makes me laugh too!
Good work helping to make shelters for the hedgehogs and getting the municipal organisation to help out. The dead wood will make homes for beetles, etc. as well – more food for the hedgehogs! Do they sell hedgehog houses there, as they do here? And special hedgehog food?
It is really interesting hearing about the differences and similarities.