On the Trail of a Hedgehog

Hedgehog in bowlFor the last few weeks I’ve been on a bit of a mission to capture some footage of our garden hedgehogs. As always when using our Trail Cam it’s a bit hit or miss what footage we get, with the usual array of grass flapping and leaves falling tending to dominate the films.

I’ve been putting out bowls of catfood, not just to try and film the hedgehogs but also to give them a bit of a helping hand when they might have young. Not too surprisingly though, if you put out catfood you get – cats! In this case one of the neighbours’ cats has learnt this is an easy midnight feast when he’s peckish, although in the footage below he has to share it with some very large slugs!

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I have an awful lot of clips of the same black cat stuffing his furry face each night. In an attempt to find something the hedgehogs would like but he wouldn’t, I’ve tried various other food options. Mealworms seemed like a good bet and sure enough the cat didn’t like them. Only trouble was the hedgehog didn’t seem to either. I’d soaked them in water to rehydrate a bit and then left worms and water in the bowl, thinking our hogs could get a drink too.  Instead he or she waded in amongst them, then wandered off in search of something better.

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So it was back to the catfood again, until I happened to find a pack of blueberries at the back of the fridge that had gone a bit squishy for my liking. Again I thought this might tempt our hog – again I was wrong. They were all still there in the morning. On the plus side one of our blackbirds did like the look of them. I don’t know if he’s been in a fight with other blackbirds or even the cat, but he’s the scruffiest blackbird ever. But he did like the blueberries – I was a bit worried when I saw this that he was going to choke on one, but he seemed to gobble them down in the end and is still flying tattily around the garden with no ill effects.

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The robin (probably the same one who stalks my moth trap) has also learnt that the hedgehog bowl is easy pickings. He’s not that keen on the catfood, but has tried most of my other offerings.

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I have managed to get some clips of the hedgehog feeding or at least investigating the bowl. We’ve definitely got 2 adult hedgehogs using the garden as I’ve seen them some evenings, but never managed to get them both to come to the food bowl at the same time!

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If nothing else my attempts to feed the hedgehogs are supporting a variety of other wildlife in the garden – blackbird, robin, slugs, assorted flies and spiders and of course the neighbours’ cat! The brief glimpses we get of the hedgehogs though make it all worthwhile. The clips may only be short (for some reason the trail cam won’t do videos of more than 15 seconds at night?), but they give a small insight into the lives of our hoggy friends that we wouldn’t get otherwise.

 

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