For seven nights we have followed the visits of a hedgehog to our garden. For five of these nights we had a feeding station set up experimenting with foods to tempt it in. After a few days it looked like a hedgehog might actually be exploring our upturned box, with a 13cm entrance hole cut out at one end. Last night’s video footage below confirmed our suspicions.
Brilliant, the smell of hedgehog food from inside must have taken it inside to get to this valuable food source. It must have been expecting it too, entering the feeding box only 15 mins after the food went out! Watching out a back window, we saw it arrive LIVE. It was seen following the side of the box before entering. It fed on the experimental sultana side of the twin dish inside, for 4 mins.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Since this blog was uploaded more information and articles have become available. Please avoid feeding bird food to wild hedgehogs. Although they will enjoy it (especially dried mealworms) these foods can cause Metabolic Bone Disease in hedgehogs. Sultanas are bad for their teeth too. Please follow the following link to the August 2020 update on feeding wild hedgehogs after reading this post.
The video capture below, taking through the window, shows a fade transition over the longer feeding spell. Unfortunately it probably heard our hushed voices inside or another noise outside and left quickly. Hedgehogs can move! Would it make a return visit? I was pretty sure it would as on other nights every single sultana has gone.
Can I be sure it is the same hedgehog visiting? No, even if I was to stay at my window all night. Perhaps there are more than one visiting at different times during the night. Did this hedgehog return with friends last night? Well, by the condition of the box this morning I would say ‘yes’ and they had themselves a party too!
Initially when I saw the hedgehog feeding box this morning I thought something else had come along and moved it around. However, evidence had been left on the ground and in the feeding dish. Taking a guess, I typed hedgehog droppings into Google Images and confirmed the party animals were indeed hedgehogs!
The photos below show the state of the feeding box as I found it this morning. However if you are about to eat, you may not want to scroll further down to the third image, quite yet. I have very generously decided to share images of hedgehog droppings. There’s good reason share this fine specimen too. Perhaps you have seem them in your garden too and didn’t realise they belonged to a hedgehog.
Are hedgehogs new visitors to my garden? After seeing the droppings I can confidently say ‘no’ to that question. I have seen these droppings on my grass before. I never considered a hedgehog. I can also fairly confidently say, that it is very likely that the sultanas that I throw out for the birds have brought hedgehogs back to my garden, slugs and snails too perhaps. Interestingly, they don’t seem to be eating the dried hedgehog food bought especially for them.
What next? Well, I wonder if I will see more than one hedgehog come to my feeding station at the same time? Perhaps then my feeding station will be too small. Of course you could guess what I would really love to see visit one day – a hedgehog juvenile!
This post was written by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in August 2007