Tag Archive | Hedgehog

Hedgehog at Lake Avenue House

We found this hedgehog in our cattle grid at  Lake Avenue House today, we had a few in our garden about 3 years ago but had not seen any since, glad to see they are still around. It took us a while to get him out as no one wanted to get too close to his sharp strong spines.My children thought he was very cute with his little nose/snout and once he started to move we were all surprised at how fast he could go. He headed straight for our hedge and within seconds he had disappeared       

The Hedgehog or in Irish Gráinneog Hedgehogs are about ten inches long and are known to most of us ,by the strong sharp spines, which cover its back. It gets its name because it looks like a small pig or hog and it is found in hedges. The spines, which are usually white at the base, are about three quarters of an inch long and can number as many as 16,000. They act as a defence against flash-eating animals and other enemies when they get into a fight. If they are attacked, the hedgehog rolls   itself   into a ball to protect  it soft    under parts. The  spines which are really sharp strong  hairs, are useful   to   the animal  not  only for protecting  it self  but  also, as  a  cushion   if   the   animal falls from a height The hedgehog has a snout (or nose), which it uses to scent the insects, worms, slugs, snails and frogs, and young birds, which are its food.

It also eats fruit, eggs and young birds. If it can find no other food, it may sometimes eat the flesh of the dead animals. While the hedgehog is common through Ireland it is a very shy creature, it is found mostly in hedgerows, wood and gardens wherever there are plenty of leaves to hide under and insects to eat It can often be heard, sniffing its way through dry leaves in search of to make a clicking noise as it eats an insect or slug. Up to seven   young are born in nests of grass and moss. Theses nests are on   the ground in well-sheltered places, hedgerows   and   woods. Although blind   at birth, the young quickly learn to follow their mother in search of food. After   three   months they are fully-grown, there are usually two litters a year.

Like the bat, the hedgehog takes a long winter break. Before it settles in for the winter, it stores up fat in its   body by eating greedily and chooses a cosy, frost free sleeping place under a tree stump, a layer of leaves or even underground.

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