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Posts Tagged ‘baby hedgehogs’

HEDGEHOG

In Spring and Summer we are surrounded by new life in the natural world, we can often find young birds and animals on their own in strange or unsafe places, if this is the case here are some guidelines from the RSPCA to help you.

Usually the youngsters have not been abandoned and ‘rescuing’ them may do more harm than good, their mother is close by and looking out for them, human interference can reduce their chances of survival.

Baby Birds

Leave ‘abandoned’ baby birds alone, if you find a young bird out of its nest it is probably a fledgling, they usually leave the nest about two weeks after hatching – just before they can fly, they will have grown all or most of their feathers, are very mobile and can walk, run and hop onto low branches. Fledglings are fed by their parents who are usually nearby collecting food, however, they will not return to the fledglings until you have gone, never try to return fledglings to their nest.

Young Deer

If you go for a walk in the countryside you may come across an ‘abandoned’ young deer, the chances are that it is waiting for its mother to return, deer hide their young in undergrowth or long grass whilst they are foraging. Leave the deer where it is and move well away without touching it, an unfamiliar scent may cause the mother to abandon them, if you have a dog keep them on a lead.

Young Fox Cubs

Fox cubs start taking their first steps outside the earth (den) at four weeks old, and it is quite normal for them to wander in or around patches of cover above ground this is how they develop their survival and hunting skills. Please don’t be tempted to ‘rescue’ them the cubs’ parents or relatives are usually nearby keeping a close eye on them.

Young Hedgehogs

If you see a young or adult hedgehog out during the daytime it can mean that it is unwell or in trouble if you are concerned call the RSPCA or the Hedgehog Preservation Society for advice.

No matter how hard we may try we cannot look after young birds or animals as well as their parents, if you really want to help leave them alone, if they are in immediate danger from a predator or traffic place them out of harm a short distance away so that the parents can find, then if you are worried go back later and check all is well.

Useful contact telephone numbers:

If you are concerned about an animal   RSPCA 0300 1234 999

http://www.rspca.org.uk/home

Hedgehog Preservation Society    01584 890801

http://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk/found-a-hedgehog.php

It is really hard to walk away and not do anything but often it is the right thing to do.

Love your environment

Gill

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This week is Hedgehog Awareness Week (4-10 May) with ‘hedgehoggy’ events being held around the country, it is organised by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and aims to highlight the problems that Hedgehogs face and how we can help them.

Hedgehogs are secretive, beautiful and fascinating creatures they are especially loved by children and welcomed by gardeners yet there has been a sharp decline in their numbers. Throughout Spring, Summer and Autumn they will eat many of our unwanted garden pests, including slugs (up to 80 a night), snails, beetles and caterpillars, in a totally environmentally friendly way.

During May female Hedgehogs will be pregnant with their young due to be born in June/July there are usually 4-5 in a litter but unfortunately only 2 or 3 survive, the babies (Hoglets) are born blind, pale pink and spineless but after only 2-3 minutes their spines begin to appear, the young stay in the nest and feed on their mother’s milk, after 3-4 weeks they will leave their warm and safe home and go foraging for food with their mother. If you find a hedgehog nest do not disturb it or handle the young as the mother may abandon them.

 The Original hedgehog house

The Hogitat Hedgehog House

 The Hogitat

How can we help?

Provide a safe home for female hedgehogs to rear their young, there are various types of Hedgehog Houses available, place them in a quiet part of the garden preferably against a bank, wall or fence and to avoid cold winds make sure that the entrance does not face North or North East. Make your hedgehog house more welcoming by placing twigs, leaves and short grass on top and around the house and some dry leaves and grass inside.

Hedgehog Food

A quick ready meal of Hedgehog food will be welcome to the mother and her young hedgehogs, place out of the way of other animals, birds and pets along with a dish of fresh water.

Hedgehog Feeding Bowl

It would be such a shame to lose these delightful creatures if you see one enjoy watching it quietly from a short distance, they should not be touched or picked up unless absolutely necessary.

Field Guide to Hedgehogs

If you want to know more about Hedgehogs why not treat yourself to a Hedgehog Field Guide this four page guide includes lots of facts and information on feeding and encouraging hedgehogs into your garden.

Love your environment

Gill

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