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Nudging behaviour

Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Nudging behaviour

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    I have footage of two hogs under a bush in the garden about an hour after they were mating in different part of the garden. It seems that one just wants to curl up, with the other spending over an hour nudging it quite strongly. Is this normal? What is the reason?

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    Hi MattMcNeil

    Sorry, there isn’t enough information to say for sure what was happening. Also one person’s nudging can be another person’s biffing, etc.

    But it’s possible it’s 2 males. If there had been a female around, it’s not unusual for other males to arrive on the scene. It could be one male biffing another and the less dominant one gave in and rolled up. Then the more dominant male could be crossly ‘nudging’ him, because he doesn’t like him being there at all, or wants to ensure he got the message and stays there! Males often biff other males if they come into their personal space, especially if there is an interesting female in the vicinity. I suspect that when a female is around, the area in which a male is prepared to tolerate another male may become slightly larger than usual.

    Sometimes a male ‘courting’ a female has more than one other male rolled up and he breaks off the circling to go and give them each an extra biff, seemingly to ensure they stay where they are, before dashing back to the female to resume his circling. I used to wonder how impressed she would have been with that behaviour – being left there in mid turning and huffing whilst he dashed off!

    Alternatively if it was a more gentle ‘nudging’ it could be a female rolled up who, for instance, got fed up with/didn’t like him trying to pay attention to her, but wasn’t able to get away and he was nudging her encouraging her to unroll/resume circling. Sometimes the males get a bit over enthusiastic and she might get fed up with him, or she may be young and generally not impressed with his behaviour. That sort of thing. It’s not unusual, despite the circling lasting for ages, for one or other of the pair to just wander off. i.e. the courtship circling and huffing doesn’t always lead to mating.

    That is all surmise but possible. To be sure what was really happening a lot more information would be needed.

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