Friday, 18 June 2010

Friday at the Flicks (Hedgehog Mating Ritual and Damselflies)

It was fascinating the other night watching what slowly dawned on me was a Hedgehog mating ritual. Fortunately I had the camcorder set up in the kitchen. As it was set to night vision some of the faster movement becomes blurred.

The female was first to the feeding area and you can see her stop and listen as she hears the male approaching at his usual top speed followed by the usual pushing and shoving. All through the camcorder clips you can hear the well known snuffling sound.

Over and over the male appeared to be licking the back of the female and then curling up on his side and licking himself. One commenter on my YouTube video pointed out that the male bites the female to test her reaction. If she doesn't object or resist then she is ready to mate.

This ritual can go on for hours with the male constantly circling the female. This time it lasted nearly half an hour before the male suddenly headed in the direction of the Hedgehog House and the female made off towards the bottom of the garden.

 Here is a little piece of the (silent) action captured by the outdoor video camera.

There was another short meeting around midnight and lots of solo visits to tuck in to the dried mealworms, sunflower hearts and crushed unsalted peanuts washed down with a slurp of fresh water.

After watching some Damselflies use the same lily leaves over and over as a landing pad I set up the camcorder and managed to capture some video. There were four Blue-tailed Damselflies and one Common Blue.

Have a great weekend observing the wildlife in your locality.


  1. Ahha! An explanation of Hooligan's behaviour - an alternate definition: a severe case of prickly heat! ;)

    Good spot to watch the damselflies. It pays to be observant, doesn't it?

  2. Hello Glo. Definitely prickly heat, especially when she refuses to flatten her spines so he can't get too close.

    Each year I am getting a few more damsels as they seem to be breeding in the pond now.

  3. Hi there John, just catching up with your posts. Found it very interesting to see your time lapse pics on video. I could see this might be quite time consuming but great fun to play around with too :-)

    Good to see young goldfinches with you. Bit early for us here perhaps. I do love to see them. Yes, I agree feeding is all important for the birds just now especially with their young. It can be as busy as winter at the moment can’t it? Loved the bee and newt shots :-D

    Post of the week for me has to be this one! Great video captures of the action and noise of the hogs. I’ve heard this myself before and stood and watched the action (without camera) for a little while. It’s the volume of this snuffling that I found amazing… I heard the noise before I saw what was going on. Fascinating stuff… I’m guessing you’ll be pleased to capture this action :-D

    Loved the damselflies too… they must be fascinating to watch. Great video. Wishing you a good week :-D

  4. Hello Shirl. The time lapse ties up a camera for ages but once started it is left to get on with it for an hour or two. The thing which is taking the time is finding a good program to make the video file automatically.

    I agree, the seed has been vanishing as fast as it does on a bad winter day!

    I was really pleased to get some video of the hedgehogs. As you say, they are loud. The outdoor microphone was a good 15 - 20 ft away put picked it up very strongly.

    Hope the weather stays fine for all your gardening projects. In a few years time you should be able to watch your own dragons and damsels flitting round your new pond.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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