Bites for badgers – VOL 2

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Thu, 27.10.2016 - 10:03
Posted by the Animal of the Year team, 07.10.2016

Slowworms too go in the stomach of badgers if this protected legless lizard, looking like a length of copper tubing happens to be in the badger’s path.
Photo: Tiit Hunt
Nests of bumblebees and wasps in the ground are scratched open and eaten whole.
Photo: Tiit Hunt
One of the favourite insects of the familiar badger pair in the Saaremaa badger camera seems to be the Geotrupes vernalis or spring dumbledore – there were remnants of the beetle’s blue chitin shell in the deposits around the burrows.
Photo: Tiit Hunt

In real life the badger is actually not quite as the creature in the Soviet-time cartoons where it gathered winter stocks for itself  wrapped in dotted scarves - mostly larger-than-life unidentified boletes. But the badger is really a voracious creature that loves varied food. The list of animal food of badgers is long – from insects to mammals. The choice of food depends of course on what creatures are in season on the hunting grounds of the badger and how plentiful they are. There is no lack of insects, snails and slugs during the warm period.


The waterloving grass snake would be wise to flee headlong or it will simply get eaten. The badger sett is always close to some water body but there is no information on whether badgers also catch fish. But it will eat dead fish washed up on the shore since is it a scavenger too.
Photo: Tiit Hunt
Our potential national animal does occasionally leave an impression of somewhat slow wit and reactions but this is deceptive as also the agile common lizards who are caught in the badger’s jaws realise.
Photo: Tiit Hunt
Among the creeping comrades the adder will not escape either; it goes into the badger’s jaws if it hasn’t the foresight to hide in time.
Photo: Tiit Hunt
On the banks of water bodies the badger finds suitable edibles such as frogs and newts.
Photo: Tiit Hunt

Among the animal food mice too go on the menu of the badger, depending on its habitat – in the forest most numerously bank voles, in fields Microtus voles. The badger does not say no to a soft-furred mole either when it pokes its nose out from a soil heap in early night. The favourite protein of badgers concurs with the favourite meal of hedgehogs, earthworms; the badger can if necessary kill the barbed ball itself too and eat it. The badger also checks the nests of ground nesting birds and feasts on the chicks; with luck it even occasionally catches a bird as a more substantial bite.



Although rarely, the badger can even kill a hedgehog. The claws of a badger are the only ones in the forest long enough to reach in between the spines of the hedgehog.
Photo: Tiit Hunt
There is no lack of insects, snails and slugs during the warm season.
Photo: Tiit Hunt


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