Friday, 24 August 2007

Hedgehog feeding station success!

For seven nights we have followed the progress of a hedgehog visit my garden. For five nights I have had a feeding station set up where I have experimented with foods to tempt it in. After a few days it looked like it was going in - but last night video footage confirmed this. It entered the feeding box only 15 mins after I put the food out! I saw its visit through a window and the camera caught it too. I believe it was probably disturbed with our voices inside and quickly left. The video below fades out when it fed in the dish of sultanas for almost 4 minutes. I have not altered the speed of this film.

Feeding station 1st, video 1:21 with background music, try 480p quality.

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, I have no way of measuring that even if I was to stay up all night watching the box. Perhaps there are more than one visiting at different times during the night.

Did it bring any 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 box this morning I thought something else had moved it about - but then I spotted the ‘evidence’. I typed hedgehog droppings into Google Images and yes I can confirm that the party animals were indeed hedgehogs!

The photos below show 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 photos of the hedgehog droppings that I have very generously decided to share. As you will see they were in the food dishes too and most were squashed but I was left with one fine specimen! Perhaps you have also spotted them in your garden but 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 and wondered who they belonged to - but I never considered a hedgehog. I can also fairly confidently say that it has most likely to be the sultanas that I throw out for the birds that they have been enjoying as well as my slugs and snails and perhaps that is why they are not interested in the dried food.

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!

The video above was taken, just after 10pm, on August 23rd 2007.


A wildlife gardener said...

Hi, shirl! I scrolled back to the wild flower link and found it very interesting. I know what you mean about the hawkweed looking an amazing flower, even though it is related to the dandelion. I have a pink hawkweed from Australia. It is an alpine flower and when fully grown, it looks like a bunch of hawkweeds growing as if they were a bunch of dandelions,if you see what I mean.

I love your new video of the hedgehog coming to the feeding box. If you cover the box with an old carpet and lots of twigs, for camouflage, you might get them to hibernate there all winter :)

shirl said...

Hi again, Wildlife Gardener

Yes, it was fun to get others invloved with ID's for this post. Alpines - now you are talking! They were the first group of plants I began collecting. I always smile when I see rich plantings of Alpines.

I was thrilled to capture the hedgehog going in the feeding station! Thanks, I had read about covering a box with carpet and twigs - although my daughters are very interested in building a hedgehog house :-)

Layanee said...

Love the hedgehog video! I know I will never see those droppings here but now I have seen an actual hedgehog feeding and ambling around! Thanks!

shirl said...

Hi again, Layanee

Thanks I was delighted to be able to share this moment - it was new for us too. It really was a lucky piece of video capture of the hedgehog as we haven't seen it since then! It has taken some sultanas but I am wondering if our drier weather is making it search elsewhere for food.

There is also another thought - many hedgehogs do get hit by cars when they cross roads. However, I am optimistic we will see it again another night :-)

Anonymous said...

I have been happily feeding a hedgehog or two for a week and was really dissappointed to find a cat gorging on the food. Now I've seen your feeding station I can have another go - thanks, it was very instructive

shirl said...

Hi Heather,

Thanks for your comment - I hoped my info would be useful.

I have had problems with cats killing birds in my garden so putting out cat food would never be an option for me - unless I could hide it from the cats! When I read on the Hedgehog Society website about a feeding station I thought it would be interesting to try it. The box I used was nearly transparent which meant we could watch through it.

It is raining here this evening - I wonder if the hedgehog will return again tonight - I haven't seen it for a few nights now.

I wish you success with your feeding station and many hedgehog visits - let me know how it goes :-)

Anonymous said...


Thank you for sharing your fanastic feeding station footage.

We have been feeding hedgehogs for over 18 months now and think they are beautiful animals.

We think your feeding station - especially being see through, is a great idea and will be putting one in our garden at the weekend.

We also have a hedgehog box that, as far as we are aware hasn't been used yet - but you never know one day.

We also have two badgers that vist our garden and unfortunately, hadn't realised until one fateful day. However, we do fully appreciate, as hard as it is, that this is wildlife and you can only do your best. Hopefully, however, the feeding station will protect our little friends.

Thank you once again.

shirl said...

Hi there Anonymous :-)

Thank-you!! Receiving comments like this really make writing this blog worthwhile. It really did make me smile :-D

I wish you well with your feeding station this weekend. My present plastic box that I made into a feeding station was bought from Tesco but the first one that was used in this clip was bought from Ikea and it was much clearer. They are a pretty average size and I am sure you may see almost clear boxes in other stores too.

Ah… the badgers. I didn’t know about this until I read it recently. The entrance hole of 13cm x13cm I would think should help keep it out although it does have a long nose doesn’t it? I do know if I go out (not realising) when a hedgehog is in the box it just says where it is. It stops eating for a little while then starts again. I would guess it feels fairly protected there.

I would love to know how your hedgehogs get on if you wouldn’t mind updating me here on your feeding station. I am sure others would be interested too!

Wishing you success with your feeding station :-D

Anonymous said...

Hi Shirl just found your hedgehog video, I have been wondering how to fix up a feeding station that will stop the food getting waterlogged when it rains.I put a hedgehog box in the garden this year after the dog found I had a hedgehog hiding in the long grass, I put some straw in it and he moved in almost straight away and has filled it up with leaves and he eats whatever I put out every night - mostly oatabix that friends have bought and hate - so he has quite a store.Thanks for the tip on the feeding station will be looking for a suitable box to get it set up before the bad weather.Poppy

shirl said...

Hello there Poppy :-)

I am delighted that you found my postings helpful. This very basic feeding station really does work and it is especially good on wet nights!

Good luck with yours! It is great that you are seeing these delightful characters visit your garden too - enjoy them :-D

Anonymous said...

Don't forget to stop feeding your hedgehogs now. Lack of food is an important catalyst for hibernation. A lot of hedgehogs get caught out by the weather this way & they usually don't make it through the winter.

Take care & nice page :)


shirl said...

Hi there bw :-)

Thanks, yes, I am still putting out food. Thanks for the reminder to everyone :-D

Glad you liked the page :-D