Hedgehog seen in the morning – could this be a problem?
1st May 2018 at 5:11 pm #9340
Was rather surprised to catch sight of a hedgehog at 10 am this morning. We have several living in and/or coming into the garden and they are very active just now in the evenings. We monitored his progress through the bushes – he did not look distressed or injured – and eventually he went into the igloo house we bought last year which we believe a hog hibernated in.
Does anyone know if this happens occasionally? Could he just be very late getting back home? (We didn’t see him coming under the gate).
Unless we disturb it in its house during the day, there is no way we can identify at night to see if it might be injured.
Thanks for any advice1st May 2018 at 9:53 pm #9342
I live in Sweden where there is very little darkness during summer. Hedgehogs can be seen, especially close to a permanent feeding even before sunset. and being well. Here is a video from maybee 16.30-17.001st May 2018 at 11:05 pm #9344
Thank you Jens for a delightful video. I wish we could see our hogs as easily as this! Your hedgehogs clearly have no choice in the summer but to come out in daylight and I guess they are used to it.
We saw 5 hedgehogs in our garden tonight. There was much eating, fighting and trying to mate, and all of them looked fit. We hope one of them was the one we saw out this morning and that he is well.
Thank you again.2nd May 2018 at 7:58 am #9347
My local hogs (Northants) are quite often seen in daylight but not during daytime . They regularly head for the diner on my lawn between 7pm and 9pm when it’s still daylight. Two years ago on my (mid-summer) birthday I was enjoying some wine on the patio and sat and watched 5 hoggies chasing each other at around 8pm. They all live very close by (2 in my garden) so I’m obviously their first port of call each night.
Daylight and daytime are two very different things when the nights are short.2nd May 2018 at 9:02 am #9349
I have a fairly small garden with 3 hog houses that are regularly occupied (currently they’re all in use). The entrances to all 3 are visible from my kitchen window. When a hog ‘abandons’ its house I clean it ready for the next hog to take up residence and there is quite a turnover of hogs.
Over the years I have seen many a hog stepping outside its house during the daytime – morning and afternoon – either for a comfort break, or a drink of water or simply to stretch its legs. The hogs remain outside but fairly close to their houses for anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes. When I first saw this happening I was worried but I now believe it’s pretty normal. But maybe I only see all this because of the smallness of my garden.2nd May 2018 at 4:15 pm #9369
That’s very interesting Catherine. Perhaps they come out more often than we realise? The only other time I was surprised to see this was some years ago when a female had hoglets in our garden (unknown to us). We were alerted by some odd noises in the undergrowth and were amazed to see 4 tiny hoglets out in the bright hot midsummer sun having a little play around. After about 10 minutes or so they just went back in to the nest. The mother did not appear but we think we heard her snoring! Not long after, she brought them out in the evening to forage – we had left a cooked lamb bone out on the patio for the starlings and were taken aback to see mother and all four hoglets tearing the meat off the bone!2nd May 2018 at 5:08 pm #9370
Jens – your video is a lovely example of hog behaviour – and looks like quite a character as well, almost ready to push you out of the way I think at one point.
Interesting to see you have lighter colouring of hogs in Sweden? – but I guess they have evolved the colouring variation as a result of daylight camouflage needs. Or is the one on the video unique in that respect?
Marion – I would be tempted to keep a keen eye on emerging hogs in the daylight here in the UK – its not ‘normal’ behaviour and can be a sign of stress or flagging unwellness. Perhaps his nest has been disturbed? it may be that he is simply hungry of course – but if it continues for more than a couple of days – probably worth getting him checked out – they do hide signs of illness to avoid predation.2nd May 2018 at 8:14 pm #9374
Hi Jan Marie
Interesting that you remarked on the colouring of the hogs in Jens’ video. It was the first thing I remarked on when he first posted some of his videos last year. That one at least, has colouring a bit like the pygmy hedgehogs which people keep as pets. It makes me wonder whether they could be some sort of hybrid. It is very marked with the contrast between the light and the dark.3rd May 2018 at 2:01 pm #9379
Its an interesting consideration. I think the pygmy hedgehog has African origins, and they are very much smaller than their European relatives – as their name suggests – and much lighter in colour. I had thought this was due to their natural habitat and being lighter was more protective for them against the sun and camouflage in the African lighter grasses etc?
I have also been reading that there have been cases of pygmy hedgehog owners ‘releasing’ their pets into the UK – some because of the burden on their busy lives and others thinking they were helping the dwindling numbers of our wild ones! (I know………..)
So could be a hybrid mix going on – but if this is the normal colouring in Sweden, more likely the environmental camouflage factor and longer days etc?3rd May 2018 at 2:28 pm #9380
Makes me think of the terrapins that people used to have for pets until they realised they were too difficult to look after and released them into the wild – never good for the native wildlife.
I did mention re. the colouring, to Jens, when I saw the first film, but it wasn’t something he had noticed. I also said, at the time, ‘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.’ So it could be that they have evolved slightly differently, but I’m not sure why it would be advantageous to be paler – it would stand out more, even in daylight. I couldn’t find out if there were books or experts on hedgehogs in Sweden who might be able to throw some light on it.
It was just looking at the latest film that it really struck me how similar the colouring is to some pygmy hedgehog pictures I have seen, and the hog seemed quite small, although not easy to tell from video and that one could be a youngster. Probably another one of those things we may never know the answer to!3rd May 2018 at 3:23 pm #9386
Yes, those were my first thoughts as well, that it looks like an African pygmy. Perhaps Jens could shed some light on it. I have noticed a lot about hedgehogs in the press recently -which is a good thing- but I do get irritated when they keep using photos of African pypmy’s instead of our native hogs!
As for them coming out in daylight Marion, I was a bit worried about one of ours that turned up a couple of nights ago at 7.00pm, before I had plated up dinner, but she turned up last night around 8.00pm with a fellow diner and all seems well. 🙂3rd May 2018 at 5:10 pm #9390
We also have ones early evening – from 7pm say, when its still light from time to time. We also get to see them heading for home across the back garden and into the undergrowth very early morning hours – say 5-6am shuffling off into the undergrowth. I would be a little concerned about the 10am one though. Has he reappeared at any unusual hours again Marion? He could just have had his nest disturbed if it was a one off though.3rd May 2018 at 6:28 pm #9392
Thanks to everyone for their comments about hogs in daylight hours. Unless we have hogs sharing a house (!), we believe that we have tracked the one in our “igloo” house which was seen out in the morning. We believe this is female. She appeared in the garden last night at 8.50 pm from the direction of the house – fed and drank and foraged around. After 20 minutes she re-appeared, went down the patio steps in a huge hurry and under the garden gate. No other hogs appeared. At 10.30 pm she returned, had lots more to eat and drink then headed off in the direction of the igloo. We put the patio lights full on and watched her go into the house. She re-appeared around midnight when 2 other hogs visited and was courted by a male. So far so good?
We are certainly keeping an eye out in the morning but haven’t seen any hogs since.4th May 2018 at 8:58 am #9395
sounds good! how exciting to have a resident female as well- perhaps some little hoglets appearing before you know it as well.4th June 2018 at 8:51 pm #9821
I saw one 2 days ago, about 8:10AM – we both froze for a while, after I backed off slowly it continued about its business.
It (she?) had a mouth full of short green twigs and disappeared into the wild strawberry thicket around the shed (beneath which I have long suspected hogs reside).
I’ve been keeping an eye out but I’ve not seen her/it again despite evidence of hogs all over the place. Have left out a saucer of cat food tonight in case this sighting was a sign that food is scarce.
There is plenty of water access and much of the garden is left wild. I have only ever left out pre hibernation food occasionally before – I don’t want them becoming dependent – any advice ?
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