Update from the Badger Sett

There are a lot of pheasants around at the moment. I regularly drive through an estate where they apparently breed pheasants in large numbers. Lots of them feed along the grass verges and inevitably many get run over. The carnage along that stretch of road is appalling, but nobody cares. 

Down at Badger Wood, I’m having problems with two pheasants that come into the wood to roost, at the same spot, at the same time each evening. They have discovered the peanuts I put out for the badgers. If I don’t chase the pheasants away, they’ll eat the lot, but if I do then the noise I make disturbs the badgers and they won’t come out!

Is it safe to come out yet?

It was interesting to see what happens when pheasant and badger meet. I thought the badger would at least try to catch the pheasant, but it just didn’t bother. The pheasant wandered off and the badger got the peanuts.

When pheasant meets badger, er, nothing much happens

Though it’s still possible that some cubs will emerge in the next few weeks, it’s looking less likely that I’ll see any cubs this year. There seem to be six badgers in the clan, but how many of those are last year’s cubs and how many are mature adults, I can’t tell. Last night they all came out and ate peanuts, then ran off and played on a log before tearing across the sett and disappearing into the woods at full speed. No sign of any responsible parenting there!

Adolescent badgers fooling around

So why are they playing like that? Clearly they’re not honing their hunting skills – the encounter with the pheasant showed that, so one can only conclude that they’re just having fun.

 Badgers do enjoy a good scratch

Comments

  1. What lovely videos - perhaps the badgers are too well fed to think about hunting!?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jennifer. They don't get a lot of peanuts, so maybe they just prefer worms.

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