Video record Urmas Lett, www.eenet.ee
Badger Mäger, common names also määr or kähr Meles meles
In fact, as the videos show, the badgers in the web camera have been out for longer periods only for three days. Trail cameras in several locations in Estonia show however that badgers went out already after the so-called cold spell on January 27th. Unfortunately we could not observe this badger castle in Saaremaa constantly during winter.
The stronger sex exits first from the castle to check the surroundings. Thus we can see that the fur coats differ in colour which of course makes identification of the individuals easier. The male has a somewhat darker coat, the female lighter and with a browner back.
For the animals who have spent a long winter underground the coats need grooming and tweaking –sand has spilled down from the tunnels, and various varmints have probably made their homes there. Badgers probably groom each other in the den too, but outdoors is a different matter, the coat gets aired too. Where to scratch and pick a species companion will know best.
We have been able to follow their doings for a couple of days in the recordings but in the fluffy winter coat it cannot be said for sure if the female has had cubs. The doubt remains because the male seems to take an unreasonably strong interest in the belly of the female.
In any case, the pair spent the winter in this castle; last year at about Midsummer we saw a long mating of badgers (as far is known, badgers don’t have offspring every year). We hope that there are cubs in the den and if so, we should see them towards the end of spring.
They keep busy with renewing the nest materials. Fine creatures.