Okay I'm a little bit late with species of the week, but it was worth waiting for! I was thinking of doing a post on hedgehogs, as I have had a few encounters with them in the past and they are great animals.
I was amazed tonight to actually see a hedgehog out and about, snuffling around and looking for food, when I was on an evening walk after work. Have a look at the video footage at the bottom of this page.
|Hedgehog, Erinaceus europaeus - Local Neighbourhood|
At first I was concerned that it was a poorly hedgehog as it is still only February. However he or she definitely looked healthy enough and was moving at a fairly steady pace. It always amazes me how quick they can move! Having said that I am still concerned that winter is not over yet and there may be some more cold snaps on the way. I just hope this one makes it through to spring.
Hedgehogs are what I would class as a winter survivor. They go into hibernation or a state known as torpor in the winter, where they slow their metabolism down and basically shut down for the winter. They use their fat reserves that they have built up through the summer and autumn months to survive on. I'm a bit envious of the hedgehog - wouldn't it be great to hibernate through the winter and miss the short, dark days!!
I saw some droppings before I saw the hedgehog for real and suspected they might be from a hedgehog. However, my immediate thought was that it was too early in the year for a hedgehog to be around. Insects form a large part of the hedgehog diet and there are not many signs of insect shells in the droppings I found but hopefully he or she is getting some form of protein, if this poo actually was from the hedgehog.
|Possible hedgehog poo!|
And have a look at the video footage from today.....