One of our regular guests at Aigas, Wendy, has recently sent us some stealth camera footage from a couple of her visits here last season, which included quite a few clips of badgers around the estate.
Badgers (Meles meles) are generally solitary foragers and use their well developed sense of smell to find food. This clip shows an example of a badger searching a feeding area, maybe for earthworms or insects which are two of their main sources of food.
Badgers also have long claws on their fore paws which are useful for digging setts and foraging. Here we can see one using its claws to easily reach the food it has found.
Sometimes badgers’ foraging grounds overlap which can cause disputes over food. An example of this is shown here where you can see two badgers fighting over food that has been put out. Badgers usually live in setts with around 6 residents who share a territory so it is likely the two individuals are from the same sett.
The first badger to emerge from a set does so cautiously, and any emerging subsequently will be slightly less cautious. Once a few have left the sett, they tend to groom each other and themselves as well as scent marking on one another to reaffirm the group scent. The following footage shows a social group soon after emergence from the sett, likely before they head off to forage.
Badgers regularly clean out their setts, dragging old bedding out of the entrance and into the sun. This allows the bedding to air, and ectoparasites are killed off in the ultraviolet light. Here we can see a badger cleaning out bedding from it’s sett.
After the old bedding has had a chance to be aired, the badgers may retrieve it or collect new bedding from as far away as 120m. They use their long front claws to drag the bedding into the sett. This final clip shows a badger doing this.