Spring has definitely arrived. As I went to feed the birds around 5am a few mornings ago, I stumbled upon quite a scene. There were two hedgehogs courting in the middle of the path. I froze hoping not to disturb them; this is important business as numbers have declined so much. After a while it was clear they weren’t bothered by me, so I went back into the house to fetch a camera.
I took some video footage which you can view here. It is very ropey I’m afraid due to the lack of light. I didn’t want to get too close to them or shine too bright a light on them.
There was an awful of huffing and snorting as the male bodged his way in circles around a seemingly unimpressed female. They moved off the path and onto the lawn where the female, no doubt worn down by his persistence, allowed him to mount her. If she is agreeable to the process, the female will flatten her spines so as not to cause the male any injuries.
I then noticed that there was a third hedgehog curled up on the lawn. I’m guessing that there was perhaps a fight over the female and this was the loser lying low pretending nothing was happening.
If this was a successful enterprise then the female will hopefully give birth to hoglets in around 4 – 6 weeks.
They both seemed very hungry afterwards and went for a snack.
It seems there was also a cat watching proceedings.
The curled up hedgehog also wandered off eventually. Perhaps he’ll have better luck next time.