Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Wednesday wildlife - Hedgehog

This hedgehog visited Helen and Ian's garden while I was staying there in 2009. He's looking a bit sheepish because he's just knocked over a plant pot.

The European Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) lives in woodland, farmland and suburban areas. It is nocturnal, and if alarmed will roll itself into a ball, protecting itself against potential predators with its spines.The Hedgehog has changed little over the last 15 million years.

Like many of the first mammals they have adapted to a nocturnal, insectivorous way of life. The name 'hedgehog' came into use around the year 1450, derived from the Middle English 'heyghoge', from 'heyg', 'hegge' = hedge, because it frequents hedgerows, and 'hoge', 'hogge' = hog, from its piglike snout. Other names include 'urchin', 'hedgepig' and 'furze-pig' .


  1. What an incredibly cute little creature. I don't believe they are over here except as pets. I first 'met' one through a book - Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle. :<)

  2. My downstairs neighbours fed their cat on the patio until a short while ago (it is too cold now). During summer and autumn, I often heard the metal food dish being shoved about on the patio tiles, and when I looked, it was a HUGE hedgehog (I am not exaggerating - he was only slightly smaller than my own cat) who came to feast on what the cat had not managed to eat before him.
    The cat saw me looking, and complained loudly, urging me to do something about the hedgehog.
    The only thing I did was going back to bed and shutting my window (something I do not like doing in summer) so that I would not hear the scraping noise anymore.
    Now, I assume, the big fat hedehog is fast asleep somewhere nearby, dreaming of the catfood he'll find next spring.

  3. Great picture. And he (or she) looks so guilty as if he's just been caught doing something bad. Which he probably has.

  4. A wonderful illustrator, Gordon Fraser, Bedford Canada, I believe, did a series of greeting cards featuring Hedgehogs. They were so very special I wanted to keep them all myself and therefore only sent to my very special people. Alas, I believe he is no longer with us, but I do hope his adorable Hedgehogs remain in collections all over!

  5. Thank you for the post. Here is a YouTube video on how to wash a hedgehog:


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