The mild February weather means that hedgehogs are waking up a little earlier than normal from hibernation.
The first wild hedgehog in my garden woke up two nights ago. They lose a significant amount of body weight during their Winter sleep and wake up very hungry and thirsty. Here’s a video of the first hedgehog from last year taking his first drink. They drink a lot more than you might think for a small creature!
I leave shallow bowls of water out around the garden all year round for hedgehogs and other wildlife so I had already made sure they were topped up. Water is vital for thirsty hedgehogs waking up from hibernation as well as through the warmer Summer months. Providing plenty of clean drinking water also means that hedgehogs are less likely to venture into ponds to drink where they may drown if they fall in and there is no escape route.
This year’s hedgehog has emerged around 3 weeks earlier than is usual for my York garden although, if it is mild, some hedgehogs may not hibernate at all. There are even stories of hedgehogs having woken up this year and their thoughts have already turned to romance in February!
Now is the perfect time to be thinking about leaving food and water out for hedgehogs and other wildlife. Also to be thinking about how to make your garden wildlife friendly. If you would like to find out more about making your pond hedgehog friendly, I’ve got some great tips here.
If a hedgehog was sick before it hibernated but somehow survived its Winter sleep, it will wake up poorly. Now is the time to be particularly alert for sick hedgehogs – they are nocturnal and a hedgehog out in the day is usually not okay. Find help for a sick hedgehog here.
I also make silver jewellery inspired by nature and wildlife to raise funds for my rescue work and you can visit my jewellery shop here.