Sunday, 19 October 2014

A very bothered hedgehog

No, I don’t want the house to fall down but I’m huffing and puffing so you get the message that I’m not happy and want you to leave! Clearly you’ve heard that Hedgehog Manor has a reputation for good food located in a hidden garden setting. What about the one table policy in mid July?

Can you not tell by my little dance and the very vocal sounds I am making that I’m more than a bit bothered here? This is my regular slot and you just keep eating my supper and ignoring me. Wait a minute… don’t you advance towards me forcing me into a corner!

You should know that the owners of Hedgehog Manor have a microphone with their camera surveillance system and are hearing as well as seeing all of this. Now, we don’t want this establishment closed due to altercations with diners do we?

Ok, so I’ll take the first step and move out of my corner and stop huffing and puffing so you can leave the premises knowing you are welcome to return when I have vacated my table. Come on now, please leave. I’m being quiet now and have been reasonably patient.

I don’t much care for your intimidation tactics and stop moving the table about if you don’t mind or we will both be asked to leave. I’m quietly waiting again. I see, so you aren’t interested in drinking the water available in another corner but just in moving me in the direction of the exit.

I’ll wait outside for you to leave then? I’m still not happy with you so you’ll hear my huffing and puffing as you dine inside. You would have a quieter more relaxed dining experience if you were to come back later - does that not sound more appealing?


This video above has been uploaded for the sound capture of the hedgehog huffing. Apologies for poor image quality (previous small file setting was selected). It is still great to be able to see this behaviour – HD setting might improve it.



Hedgehog Manor’s camera surveillance didn’t capture you leaving shortly after but the owners (who live nearby) put on outside lighting and took a video camera to a house window to record your behaviour. You really didn’t need to follow me over to the alfresco buffet below the bird feeders.


Video screen capture.

The owners can’t hear me huffing and puffing from inside but they can see my body shaking and can see I’m still a very bothered hedgehog. I give in for now… I’m leaving the garden… I’ll be back ;-)


Hedgehog thanks go to the owners of Hedgehog Manor for providing a second table shortly after this incident. Experiments in table layout have resulted in two of us being able to eat at the same sitting without the need for noisy huffing and puffing. This is a good result especially now in October as we need to feed up to a healthy weight of 600g for our hibernation.


This post was published by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in October 2014.

10 comments:

ADRIAN said...

Happy little beasts. My dogs carry them into the van. I pop them out again with a handful of peanuts but never have I considered them photogenic.

Sue Garrett said...

We used to hear this a lot when two hedgehogs met at our feeding station. One would head butt the other and on one occasion wedged it under the threshold of the patio door.
They're not very sociable are they?

Anna said...

I'm glad to read that the hedgehog diner has increased its table capacity Shirl. Top marks to an alert management.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

The video is just too cute. Love seeing some of the interaction of the little hedge hogs. Love your interpretation.

Midmarsh John said...

Brilliant Shirl, well captured. I've only heard snuffling Hedgehogs at mating time in the Spring but I've never managed to capture the sound.

Angie said...

I have never heard a hedgehog before Shirley.
He sure was bothered wasn't he. Happy to read that you are on top of things - the peacemaker so to speak. I'm sure your efforts are much appreciated.

Shirley said...

Hello everyone, thanks for all your comments:-) I have captured many images from my feeding station this year and am currently wading through them making a series of montages telling the year of hedgehog visits to the garden. It’s a great record for me as I have never done this before :-)

Adrian, they do appear to be most of the time. Gosh your dog must have a tough mouth! Yep, peanuts go down a treat here too. As your blog shows you do have a keen eye for taking photos. My rubbish quality IR shots never do hedgehogs justice but even saying that I am drawn to click the image capture many times during their visit (I watch live and don’t use motion capture software).

Sue, oops sorry, I don’t remember you blogging on your feeding station – did you? Ha-ha… I’ve many times seen blog video footage of hedgehogs head butting but never seen it myself. I’ve seen the bulldozer technique though. Well, since I found a good arrangement of 2x dishes in my feeding station they are tolerating feeding together – a least when I’m watching. Two were seen feeding together just last night – quite comical to see :-)

Anna, working a treat it is :-) Thanks, I do love watching the behaviour of hedgehogs, birds and butterflies and try to adapt feeding areas to work better. It’s fun and I get to be a bit creative at the same time :-)

Lisa, I loved it too. I spent a bit of time reading online at the background of this behaviour. It does seem to be a dislike to their personal space being invaded but it might also be telling the other hedgehog I’m bigger and stronger than you but in this case it’s the former I suspect. A slight adaptation to this (in open areas) when the hogs are seen circling each other (which could last for up to 2 hrs) is part of the mating ritual. This footage was taken mid-July so I guess that is possible but again I don’t think so. It is always fun to interpret the activity of garden visitors :-)

John, thanks, I thought that you had captured the sound but not with image so added the track to a capture in your garden. This footage is not recent (taken mid-July) so it is possible it’s a mating practice. I didn’t get the impression it was when watching them.

Angie, pre blog I hadn’t either. However, was it not for my daughter having guinea pigs in an outside hutch and I went out to feed them late one evening (to find a hedgehog on my back door step) I would never even been looking out for them to know they made any noise at all. I guess we don’t know what goes on in our night time gardens unless we wander out there in the evening with outside lighting or better still with a torch :-)

SeagullSuzie said...

Sorry I'm a bit late catching up with this post Shirl. I didn't know they made that noise either, it was great to watch and listen to, many thanks for posting.

Layanee said...

I love everything hedgehog and now I love their snuffling sounds. Who knew? I don't have any here over the pond in New England. They are a bit shy except with each other aren't they. Thanks for the fun video.

Shady Gardener said...

I learned something new here! They sound like disgruntled hogs (pigs)! :-)