Individual hedgehog characteristics ?
6th September 2021 at 3:19 pm #33776
Not having a camera I do spend hours watching my visitors IRL ! I’ve a paved area near the house where I put out their food, which is also full of big pots as I grow a lot of veggies in pots there. It is big enough to put several dishes at a distance – individual buffet meals for the hoggies I think! Also it means it isn’t a totally open space so gives some cover and they can hide behind a pot if they want to be anti social – and they do seem to contentedly wander in and out and round the pots finding bugs as well.
I am interested to watch the individual behaviour though. I can only recognise two or three regulars but I believe each is recognisable by its regular habits.
Has anyone else noticed such a thing?6th September 2021 at 9:07 pm #33789
Identifying hedgehogs by their behaviour is mostly not a reliable method. Because other hogs could use the same behaviour. Although there is occasionally one who has quite different characteristics. For instance I used to have one who always dug through the food and always went round the bowl in a clockwise direction. She was very distinctive visually as well, so I knew it was always her. But it is possible to identify them by their natural markings.
Hedgehogs don’t mind outside lights being left on – it is if they go on and off that some don’t like them. What I used to do is watch them from inside, so that my presence did not interfere with their behaviour at all. If you are outside even if you are quiet they will probably be able to smell your presence. But I did use binoculars to get a really close up view of their faces, etc.
I wrote some tips a while back to help with natural identification, which you might find helpful. https://www.hedgehogstreet.org/forums/topic/identifying-hedgehogs-from-their-natural-markings/
Good luck and happy hog watching.7th September 2021 at 9:14 pm #33806
Hedgehogs can also change behaviours. When one of the females had young hoglets in the nest, she was very bold, wandering around in the daytime, didn’t mind people etc. I think she was just so focused on food and water she was oblivious to everything else. Once the young were raised and had gone their own way, she came back occasionally on visits, but was much shyer and more nervous.
That said, I have though ‘oh that might be such and such because she’s behaving in that way’. It’s probably not terribly accurate but I wouldn’t have a clue otherwise, there’s not enough light to see the specific markings as Nic describes, and I’ve noticed that very often I can’t even reliably judge the size of the hog in the low light.7th September 2021 at 10:31 pm #33809
As mentioned previously, hogs don’t mind outside lights being on. It is mostly if they keep going on and off that some don’t like it. They soon get used to it if it is left on – whilst you are still up to see them.
The best thing to do is stay in the house (with the inside lights off) and look through the window at them where it is lighter.
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