Thursday, 5 June 2008

Visting Badger

Although we've been putting food out at night as usual, we hadn't seen a Badger this year. The food was gone in the morning, but was still there each night when we went to bed. Last night I put some peanuts and chicken skin out quite early and got on with doing other things. At 10.30 p.m. when I checked, it had all gone. I was surprised as I thought I'd been looking frequently enough not to miss any arrival. I decided to put some more out and hope for a return and at about 11.35 p.m. I was rewarded.

Pam watched from one window, with a spot light while I photographed from another. It didn't mind the torch and only jumped momentarily when the flash went off the first time. After a sniff around to see if the coast was clear it settled down. It was a fairly small, slim badger with no noticeable scars and a well covered rear. Older badgers get bald spots on their rumps and often show scars from fighting. We both though that this was a youngish animal, possibly a female, although I don't think that it is as easy to tell the sexes apart by their head shapes as is sometimes claimed.

when she was happy that the coast was clear she got down the nuts. I don't know for sure it's the same one back for second helpings, it could have been a different one.

When you watch a badger eating it is surprising how far back the mouth is set. They sometimes have difficulty picking the nuts up. The pointed snout is ideal for making holes in our lawn to get at earth worms. Fortunately I'd rather watch them than have a flat lawn, although Pam's not too pleased if they dig up plants she's just put in the borders.


Josh Jenkins Shaw said...

Great photo's!!!I'd love a Badger in the garden.

Josh Jenkins Shaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Tony, Great pictures. I've got a fox hole under one of my hedges and I've seen the gorgeous beast heading back to bed after a night on the tiles recently (no pictures as I'm camera illiterate). However I also have a dog, do you know if a fox carries any diseases that my dog could catch? Keith

Tony Morris said...

hi Anon, Foxes certainly can have mange, which I guess dogs can catch. I believe their fleas are also transferable. Foxes can also catch Weil’s disease (Leptospirosis)Which is a potentially life threatening condition and can be passed on to domestic pets and humans via contact with their urine.They can also carry Toxocariasis and Hydatid disease, both parasitic nasties. I think you'd have to injest their faeces to catch these, but don't let toddlers or babbies crwwl around where they are.