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Hedgehog Relationships

Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Hedgehog Relationships

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    I have a question on the above. I understand that the males are not involved in rearing the hoglets. I have witnessed the mothers being very attentive and nurturing towards their offspring in the first few months after birth. I had assumed that a point comes when the young ones leave the ‘nest’ and become independent. This certainly appeared to be the case following the upbringing of the 5 hoglets I witnessed last autumn. A couple of days ago I was checking the cameras and a few clips appeared to show an adult interacting with what I assume are last years hoglets. If it had happened back in November I would not have thought anything of it, but in February it was a surprise. If asked I would say it looked like a mom and her hoglets but I assume the young ones would have long gone. So the question I have is whether hedgehogs retain a link to their offspring/parents/siblings through their lives or am I misreading the ‘body language’ and its just curiosity ? Hedgehog behaviour

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    Hi Alan

    Can’t be completely certain with such small sequences, but the large hog looks to me to be a male. The young one is possibly a female, but maybe too young to behave in the typical adult female manner – therefore the male has no need to circle, because the female is not turning round so that the male can easily access the rear of the female. Once or twice it looked as if the large one was thinking of mounting the small one, but either the clip was cut or he decided against it. It wasn’t easy to see if the large one had the appropriate appendage to be a male, but I thought I could see it at one time – not so easy to be sure with the dry vegetation lying around.


    Hi Nic, thanks for that, and I agree with you. The cameras are all set to take 30 sec clips and then wait for 3 mins for the next one, so that’s why the clips appear to cut off when they do. I do this as otherwise there could be hours of footage to go through each day as there is frequent activity from around 19:15 until about 05:30. I have to agree that I saw on two occasions what looked like the larger one trying to climb the smaller one but as you indicate the clips are too short to be conclusive.
    Note. I have just checked the video I posted on the 5th Feb and shows the same adult and it is a male !!!

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    Hi Alan

    Good to know you had confirmation that hog is a male! I was pretty sure by the behaviour that it was (although, as said, a small element of doubt can creep in with shorter clips), but nice to have confirmation. It’s just possible that it’s one that hibernated earlier. The males do tend to hibernate much earlier than the females and then return earlier. Usually it’s more like March that they return, but with the unusual weather we seem to get these days, it wouldn’t be surprising if some returned a bit earlier – and not long until March now, anyway! Normally it gives the males a chance to feed up a bit before the females return and they start using up a lot of energy circling females, biffing other males, etc.

    I imagine the small ones were last year’s hoglets. The mothers tend to eventually disappear to hibernate with the hoglets still being around for a while. Some hoglets will decide to hibernate as well, but not necessarily all. Looks like a few of those there decided not to hibernate.


    Looks like for some, Spring is in the air, as Harvey makes an unwanted return to the scene. Video

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    Couldn’t help laughing at the poor chap – very mean of me! Doesn’t seem to realise he isn’t going to get anywhere. She’s probably too young, although I have seen a much smaller female turning and huffing – but I think that one must have been a bit precocious. Of course, normally the females wouldn’t be back yet. Do you know whether he hibernated? Or has he been around all winter?

    Love the little face that appears at the hog hole and then disappears again.


    Hi Nic, yes I had a laugh at the face appearing at the highway hole, like “Oops, maybe I’ll come back later !”
    Over the winter months I did not notice the adult male around, but he has not been hibernating in any of the houses as the two being used for hibernating are still doing so. He could of course be living elsewhere in the garden or one of the neighbours.

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