European Hedgehogs - Page 5
Page 6
click at any image to download the fullsized picture (JPEG).
prev page homepage next page

    Now have a look into our garden, which we tried to make into a hedgehog habitat. In fact, it is permanently inhabited by up to four hedgies and many others are living in the neighboring gardens.
These four pictures - from top to bottom - zoom in to the entrance of one of our hedgehog houses in the garden. Inside it is approximately 30 by 30 centimeters wide and 20 centimeters high. It is made waterproof by a plastic foil. In the picture at the top-right you can see a wooden shed. Under it's floor there is a hollow space, a half meter high under the front of the shed, lower in the back. Both the cavity of the stone house and the hollow under the shed are filled with hay to give the hedgehogs a worm place to sleep.

This is another hedgehog house made of firewood walls and a stone ceiling. In the upper set of pictures a piece of it can be seen in the third picture.

Our hedgies live luxuriously. They are used to taking their lunch in one of our hedgehog restaurants. This is an incentive for all hedgies from the vicinity to visit us. Tricky, but what fun!
This wee feeding house has small inlets, so that no cats can steal the food. One restaurant is in front of the shed in the upper garden, the other one is right beside the north-west corner of our house.

House-warming-party ... there we go!
The new comfortable hedgehog villa was donated by a joinery teacher of the near-by college in 1998.


The brand-new hedgehog restaurant next the shed is visited not only by hedgehogs. When we realized that cats have sometimes a sweet tooth there, the entry must be reduced in size. I think that also martens are frequently nibbling at the hedgehog food at night hours. We had a special guest in late summer 2001. A fox, not fearing the men's vicinity, came every time in the dawn to get some food from the feed-box. He stopped that when I made the entry impassable for him by an additionally tiny plank. I had ti do this, because a fox would seriously endanger our hedgehog community.

The pictures are of  bad quality, because they are shot with flash-light from a distance of approximately 7m in the dawn. Nevertheless, the fox is visible well enough.

The hedgehogs' natural enemies are the indigenious beasts of  prey - fox and marten - which are hunting at night. Above all, one of our big birds of prey - the owl - is very successful in hunting hedgehogs. The unbalanced nature of theEeuropean civilized landscape is an advantage to the hedgehog, due to the men fearing behavior of it's enemies.  To the car-owners' distress martens are frequently seen in urban areas. But only ill hedgehogs or un-guided very young ones should fall a victim to them.