We have a special sort of badger which we have spotted on the Farm.
Badgers are easily recognised by their striking black and white striped facial markings. They have white tipped ears, silvery grey backs and small, white-tipped tails. Badgers have small heads, small eyes, thick short necks and long wedge-shaped bodies. They have short, powerful legs and five well-developed claws on each foot, which make them exceptional diggers. However, we are privileged to have an albino (white)/erythristic (ginger) badger which is very unusual. It is possible that the black and white stripes warn other animals that the badger can look after itself and will defend its territory so our badger has to be extra careful without his stripes.
Badgers usually walk or trot, but they can run when they need to and our badger can run very fast. Badgers are also good at climbing, and they can swim too they prefer to live in open pasture and fields so it is no surprise that he likes living here. There are also plenty of the things he likes to eat – earthworms (his favourite), rodents (such as mice), birds, eggs, insects, bulbs, seeds, fruit and berries.
Badgers are actually omnivores and eat a wide range of plants and animals. They have a varied diet depending on the food available and the time of year. The badger is a forager rather than a hunter and so is an opportunist when it comes to diet. They like foraging for earthworms on areas of short grass; it is no wonder he is so keen to visit our regularly mown lawns! grrr!!
If you want to go on a badger watch, you need to be extremely careful about what you wear, and where you stand. Badgers can hear noisy clothing from a long way off, and they will certainly be able to smell you if you are hiding upwind from where they are – this is especially true if you are wearing any type of perfume or after-shave. Whilst the cautious badger might not be able to see exactly what you are, it may well be able to tell if you move. You will need to be downwind, unperfumed, silent, still and patient. Let us know and we will point out the likely places to see these Badgers.
And finally thank you to Peter from Germany who took these photos one night last week. Well done.