Accessibility Homepage Skip navigation Sitemap


Register and log in to gain access to our forums and chat about everything 'hedgehog'!

Thank you for looking to contribute to the Hedgehog Street forum. Please note that when submitting replies or posts, these are run through our spam-checkers, so there may be a slight delay in your posts appearing, and reflecting in the forum post details below. However, if you think anything has gone awry please contact us.

The views and opinions expressed in this forum do not necessarily represent the views of PTES or BHPS.

Identifying hedgehogs

Home Forums Champions’ chat Identifying hedgehogs

  • This topic has 1 reply, 2 voices, and was last updated 3 years ago by Avatar photoNic.
Viewing 2 posts - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)
  • Author
  • #27337

    After working hard to make our front and back garden hedgehog friendly, we have one hedgehog who visits every night and occasionally two hedgehogs together.
    However, in discussion with our neighbours they are also have hedgehogs in their garden too and the question is, do we have the same hedgehog visiting all our gardens or do we have three or four hedgehogs in our area? Therefore, could we mark the hedgehog we have visiting our garden. If we could, how would we go about it? Also, is there a way of knowing if you have a male or female hedgehog?
    Thank you in advance for the help.

    Avatar photo

    Hi Martynijh18

    Glad to hear you have hogs visiting there and that you are interested in identifying them. Well done for making your garden hog friendly. It’s very likely that the same hogs are visiting your neighbours garden as well. There is actually no need to artificially mark hedgehogs to identify them. You can identify them by their natural markings. I wrote some notes a while back with some tips to identify hogs by their natural markings and have just added some information about telling male from female at the end of it, as people often mention the two things at the same time.

    You might find if you artificially mark the hedgehogs that you will upset other people whose gardens the hedgehogs also visit. (bearing in mind that some hogs can travel up to 2 miles a night and will likely visit many different gardens). They may consider them to be ‘their’ hedgehogs as well. Some people feel very strongly that hedgehogs should not be artificially marked. You will see about other disadvantages to artifically marking the hedgehogs from the above-mentioned link.

    However, if you do decide to artifically mark the hogs, people may be less angry about it if the hogs are only marked on a very few spines, away from the face and skirt using non-toxic water-based marker. It should not be necessary to mark any hog with more than one mark on a very few spines. Different hogs can be marked on different parts of their bodies.

    The following is from FAQs from the BHPS site:

    Can I ‘mark’ my hedgehogs?
    We’re pretty sure a hedgehog would rather not be marked, but if you are going to do it, please do ensure that you use a non-toxic water-based marker and mark just a few spines of the hedgehog. Keep the mark away from the hedgehog’s face and mark it in the garden on the ground rather than picking it up/bringing it indoors. Please don’t use red as people may mistake it for blood and ‘rescue’ it.  Do not make hedgehog conspicuous to predators.  We have seen some very sad images of poor hedgehogs practically covered in paint!  If you are watching the hedgehogs on a wildlife camera you will often be able to tell them apart over time without the need for marking.

    I hope you decide to go down the route of learning to recognise the hedgehogs from their natural markings, it can be very rewarding.

    Good luck with the hogs, I hope they continue to visit your garden – although be aware that it won’t be long now before some of them disappear to hibernate.

Viewing 2 posts - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.