Courting hedgehogs

It’s been a while since I’ve seen a hedgehog in my garden. I know they’re there – they eat the food we put out for them each night. But with the long days and lots of travelling recently, I just haven’t seen them. So I was delighted last night when, just before going to bed I had one last look into the garden. Not only was there a hedgehog; there were two!

One was quite big, and the other one much smaller. At first Dr C thought they were both interested in the food, which would be unusual as they don’t tend to like sharing food bowls – they’re not the most sociable of animals. But it soon became clear at least one of the hedgehogs had other things on his mind. The old joke sprang to mind: How do hedgehogs mate? Carefully!

The bigger one (the male) circled the smaller, female, hedgehog for quite a while. She was careful not to let him get behind her – I’m not sure she fancied him, even though he looked very handsome to me. This continued for a while, until a helicopter flew over head and the female decided she’d had enough, and scurried off. The male soon followed, so I don’t know if he did eventually manage to seduce her, or whether she gave him the slip.

Anyway, it was lovely to see hedgehogs again. I did try to capture some footage on my phone, but it was too dark. So you’ll just have to imagine it instead. Hopefully we’ll see some hoglets in due course (although whether this particular couple will have young, I don’t know…) My one consolation for the nights getting longer is it becomes easier to watch the hedgehogs.


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