Badgers and Hedgehogs
15th July 2018 at 6:21 pm #10546
Hi, I have been feeding hedgehogs in my garden for some years now, but they suddenly stopped arriving and my last sighting was 16th June. I hoped it was because there was plenty food elsewhere, but slowly coming around to the idea that something had happened to them – either by humans or Badgers.
I have been putting my camera out some nights in various places to try and see if they are at least still passing through.
I caught a Badger on camera in the early hours of this morning and although it is nice to see the Badger, I would prefer to see the Hedgehogs!
Wondered if anyone has had a similar experience or if anyone has Badgers and Hedgehogs successfully co-existing. I am keen to know if anyone thinks there is any chance the Hedgehogs will move back in.16th July 2018 at 7:53 am #10550
I can understand your worry. A couple of months back I had a badger visit my garden a few times over the course of several weeks. I haven’t seen it for several weeks now though. Although while it was visiting the hedgehogs were never caught on camera at the same time, they were around before and afterwards on the same nights. Neither was there any drop in their numbers or activity overall.
This is of course just my own experience and we do know that badgers will attack hedgehogs. Although I believe that badgers do prefer other food.
Is it possible that this could be weather and hoglet related. Maybe mothers aren’t going as far from the nest. Also has anything changed in the area that could have affected the hedgehogs ability to get to your garden?
Finally depending on how you are putting out a camera, or cameras, you may just be missing them. But I suspect from your post that actually any food isn’t being eaten as well?16th July 2018 at 8:03 am #10551
So sorry to hear that your hogs have gone missing, ours too are in rapid decline since a dead badger was spotted at the side of the road on the way into the village around three weeks ago. This is the first badger I have ever seen near to the village in over 23 years! For the last week the food has barely been touched, they normally get through four dishes a night! We haven’t had any rain now for over a month, so you would think that they would need water at least. Apparently badgers can eat up to three kilograms of worms in just two ours, but with the ground being so dry at the moment I am worried that they are looking elsewhere for easier pickings! 🙁
Yes, it would be interesting to know if anyone knows of hedgehogs and badgers living together side by side?16th July 2018 at 10:47 am #10554
Thank you AlanB for your reply. You are right that no food has been taken, I have taken to leaving out dried food in several sites around the garden, but it has no been taken. Nothing much has changed with the local gardens that would adversely affect access to mine. This, along with some unidentified poo a few weeks ago, I had high suspicions of a badger (poo identified via Prof Google as possible badger poo).
I think I will continue to put my camera out and see how often the Badger visits, hopefully its just travelling a bit further in the hot weather and will retreat to its normal area once wetter and cooler weather arrives.16th July 2018 at 10:58 am #10555
Thank you for your reply, I to have not seen badgers in my area before, although I did see a dead one on the road last year or the year before. It was about half mile from my house, so probably not that far in Badger world, I don’t know how far they tend to roam, or if they normally travel together. A lot of videos and images I see of Badgers in peoples gardens tend to have more than 1 badger, quite often up to 3 or 4. So this is giving me hope that it is just 1 rogue badger. It seemed smallish, not much bigger than the cat caught on camera the same night. I can’t find much info about badgers but their population numbers don’t seem that high (circa 480,000). If that’s correct, then there are less badgers than hedgehogs, so I will enjoy the badger for now but secretly hope the hedgehogs return at some point either this year or next.16th July 2018 at 4:12 pm #10560
I get hogs every night and a badger occasionally. Twice I’ve seen both together in the feeding area and each time the hog just freezes as the badger forages around, so although they’re hungry enough to enter my garden they’re not hungry enough to take a hog on.
Some videos here if you’re interested.16th July 2018 at 5:32 pm #10561
Of course it may not be anything to do with badgers. Many people have had hogs missing recently which could be for all sorts of reasons. May I draw your attention to:
where there has been much discussion.
You may also be interested in https://www.hedgehogstreet.org/predators/16th July 2018 at 7:58 pm #10565
Thank you for your replies Stevoo and Nic, I took the opportunity today to clear a small path to my hedgehog house and clean it out. It was vacant, as expected. I’ve put my camera out in that area and will just leave it for a few nights to see what comes along. I am not too concerned about the presence of badgers now having looked at some of steeevos videos, and it is some hope to know that hedgehogs seem to be absent from other peoples gardens. Hopefully they will return at some point in time and their absence, in my garden and other areas, is just a transient result of the current weather conditions.17th July 2018 at 8:57 am #10569
Now I’m really worried…last night we were down to just one hedgehog! In over three years of feeding and recording hedgehogs this has never happened before in July, out of five bowls of food, four were completely untouched. At the same time last year one camera recorded five different males! In fact, we first discovered that we had hedgehogs in the garden because there was a similar dry spell and they all started turning up in their droves to drink from a large shallow seed tray which I left for the birds outside the back door. Since the sighting of the dead badger on the 27th June, very close to where we live, numbers have been steadily decreasing. I have racked my brains for other explanations, but have come up with nothing. I haven’t seen any casualties on the roads, there are four different entrances/exits to the garden, with one along a footpath, so even if someone put up a new fence or blocked up a hole it wouldn’t make that much difference. They are not even bothered about mealworms anymore; they much prefer the Purina One kitten biscuits, the half a dozen that I sprinkle on the top are usually left for the birds! So even if someone was leaving out stacks of them, I doubt that would make any difference either. Yes, we have tawny owls knocking about, but although they might be able to tackle a juvenile, I doubt very much that they would take on a large male. The only other explanation I can come up with is if the whole village has suddenly become aware of the hedgehogs plight and started feeding them all at the same time. I hope to goodness that is the case and as another member pointed out on another thread, we haven’t just been fattening them up for the badgers!!! 🙁 🙁 ;-(17th July 2018 at 5:09 pm #10580
The numbers have gone down here too and no sign of any badgers. Some nights I only see one hog. The interesting thing is that sometimes the hogs I see, the cameras don’t manage to. They are really not as reliable as some people think and it is quite possible they are simply not picking up on the hogs. Having said that, missing hogs does seem to become a theme at certain times every year.
But the other thing is, that if someone else has been marking the hogs there, they are very probably feeding them as well.
Personally, I find the prospect of more A24 traps being around more worrying than badgers.
On a completely different subject, I had a closer image of what I think was the ‘UFO’ on video recently. Looked like a roundish thing with quite small quickly moving wings, so looked as if it was hovering. Still don’t know what it was, though!18th July 2018 at 6:58 am #10592
I am probably being a bit paranoid; I just wish it would rain so the badgers can get busy digging up worms. I set three cameras up last night on the entrance/exit points, one takes terrible videos, but it does trigger reliably. Two hedgehogs were recorded – one with the cross on its back – which were different to the one the night before who had three ticks on his left ear. The owls were calling in the background and one hedgehog seemed particularly wary; an expert has now confirmed that they are young tawny owls begging for food, so at least we have some babies. Apparently it’s been a tough breeding season for tawny owls, so that’s some good news at least. It could partly explain why the hedgehogs are keeping a low profile, with so many young mouths to feed. Also, there does seem to be a lot of natural food around at the moment, I have never seen so many flying insects and creepy crawlies on the videos. Still haven’t got a clue what that strange object is in the video, perhaps it’s those mini aliens abducting our hedgehogs…18th July 2018 at 10:20 am #10595
Yes, rain would be fantastic. It’s just been too long now. Cracks have been appearing in the garden. You’re right, the flying insects seem to be having a field day! Just the sort of weather they like. I just hope that when the rain comes, it doesn’t all come at once and cause flooding.
Don’t worry about feeling paranoid! I think we all worry about the hogs, especially if they are absent, even though we know it happens sometimes. I just wish the hogs who did turn up looked their natural selves. I have a poor small hog (not sure whether it’s small enough for this year, if it is it must have been really early) who is covered in blobs, splatters and stripes seemingly in two different colours. I just feel so sorry for the poor little thing. Virtually every hog has been excessively marked. So sad for them all.
Nice to hear about the owls. As you say, at least there are some babies!
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