Thursday, 10 March 2011

Psycho the Hedgehog

We have been observing the hedgehogs visiting our garden since 2008, and have seen that they have a range of personalities. The two visitors we have at the moment come from opposite ends of the spectrum. Twearly, the first hedgehog to come out of hibernation, seems to be quite a confident little chap, on his own. But put him next to the second hedgehog to appear, Tog, and you get the distinct feeling we should have marked him with a yellow stripe instead of two white spots.

Tog, on the other hand, is showing such aggression that we're wondering if we should rename him/her Psycho. A little pushing and shoving is not unusual when hedgehogs meet, but Tog seems to be taking it to a whole new level. Here is poor Twearly being forcibly ejected from 9e:

Tog is not satisfied with just ejecting poor Twearly - when Twearly recovers and starts moving Tog comes out of 9e and attacks again. Poor Twearly.

We wonder if Twearly is unusually timid. There was a regular visitor last year, who we think was Twearly, and he let all the other hedgehogs walk all over him, sometimes literally. If there was a hedgie feeding on the ATM, other hedgehogs would simply push through, knocking the other hedgie out of the way. We once saw the timid one wait patiently for ten minutes outside the ATM, and in the end he gave up and went the long way round under the decking.

An even more extreme example of Tog's behaviour is this one:

Tog wanders up to the bowl outside 9a and starts feeding. He then hears Twearly somewhere at the top of the garden - and goes to see him off, before returning to continue eating.

It will be interesting to see what happens when more hedgehogs arrive...

Just to show Twearly doesn't always come off worst, here is a clip from a couple of nights ago, when he meets a cat:

and here he has a paddle in water that is almost freezing:

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