Maybe just a few minutes more? Beneath a warm duvet of dried leaves and hay, this hedgehog is making it look like a thought to go out into the night air.
We’re heading towards the end of September and in the ten days since the video above was taken the nights have turned a little colder. You could guess that might trigger more night time snacks for hedgehogs and even a few during the day too. Although in saying that day visits may not be a good sign at this time of year.
Hedgehogs will really benefit from extra food sources in gardens especially now as they build up their weight to survive winter hibernation. If you already feed birds then the chances are that you already have hedgehogs visiting your garden.
Often the food dropped to the ground from hanging birds feeders will also go down well with hedgehogs. In my garden I have found they enjoy sunflower hearts, crushed peanuts and sultanas which I’ve mentioned on a few occasions.
However, dried (or live) mealworms may have the highest success rate especially if you don’t feed the birds already. A word of warning though… put them out at night as many birds including Robins, Dunnocks and Blackbirds will make short shift of them too! I might suggest a dry night too so the hedgehogs can smell them. I could be pretty sure that putting them in a trail leading to my hedgehog house played a big part in getting them inside.
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.
As the wind sends many of my taller plants in my garden almost horizontal today (wish I had taken photos recently) and day time temps are dropping the chances are that you may be starting to tidy up borders. Perhaps you might want to keep an eye out for hedgehog droppings. You can see what they look like below.
Seeing droppings will definitely give you a clue that hedgehogs are visiting your garden. If you want to see them return I might suggest you leave food roughly in the areas you see their droppings as most likely they will follow the same route. Along a wall or fence might be a good place to put food along too. I have watched them follow perimeters many times… as well their disappearing act under my hedge.
Ah… that has just reminded me of the joke by Dan Antopolski that won the Comedy Prize at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe….
“Hedgehogs. Why can’t they just share the hedge?”
Quite funny I thought especially after seeing three get a bit bothered near mine one night.
One other thing re garden tidy up perhaps you could leave a small area as ground cover for wildlife for the winter months. Thinking of longer grass care should be taken there especially with strimmers! Quite possible hedgehogs, toads, frogs, slowworms and other wildlife could be hiding in it. I have had one myself for lawn edges but can’t bring myself to use it now.
Looking out my window I can see my Leylandii hedge still in serious need of its annual trim. I’m well behind in garden jobs and many house ones too! I haven’t been near the PC much recently either with one thing or another. So much to catch up on all fronts here too including comments, blog visits and photos from my recent Cambo trip…. see you soon.
Back to the garden and House Sparrows seem to be the birds of the moment coming to the feeders in large numbers. A much larger bird flew over the garden the other day… a grey heron en route to/from a garden pond I suspect. This summer has just disappeared and I had hoped to make a start on a new pond myself. No fish though… that would be taking feeding the birds too far!
The video above was taken on September 12th 2009. The photo above was taken during August 2007.