Hedgehogs are nocturnal, and travel several miles a night in their search for food. During the spring and summer, the weather won’t directly affect their activities, as they need to find food whether it’s raining or not.
Let’s take a look at how different weather conditions affect hedgehogs.
When do hedgehogs come out?
Hedgehogs are nocturnal creatures, so they only come out at night. This means that many people don’t get to see them. They don’t seem to mind what the weather is like as long as they can forage for food. They maybe won’t want to travel quite so far if it’s pouring with rain, but they will still need to find food.
Weather conditions can pose other problems for hedgehogs though.
As with most animals, hedgehogs won’t choose to go out in the rain, but if they are hungry, they will have to. Rain can bring insects in to the garden too, such as worms, so hedgehogs may not have to travel quite so far in their search for food. If you usually leave food out and it’s not been eaten after it’s been raining, it may simply be that the hedgehog didn’t need to go as far to get the food it needed.
The biggest danger to a hedgehog from the rain is flooding, and this can affect a hedgehog in more than one way.
- Flooding brings the risk of their nest being destroyed, and if there is nowhere for them to go, they could simply drown.
- When there is floodwater on the ground, hedgehogs are unable to forage for food.
As the flood waters subside, there may be plenty of insects around, so hedgehogs will be able to find plenty of food then.
Wind doesn’t seem to affect hedgehogs too much, but as they rely on their senses of smell and hearing, it can interfere with their ability to smell food or sense danger.
If a hedgehog has built its nest in a leaf pile, or from leaves, it may find that high winds can damage the nest or blow it away.
As hedgehogs are nocturnal, they are not affected by sunshine. In fact, if you see a hedgehog out in the day, check to see that it is ok. During the nesting season, it could be a female looking for food for her babies, but it may also be a hedgehog in need of help.
While the sun doesn’t directly affect hedgehogs, dry weather can.
- During dry weather, the ground will dry up and this means less insects around for the hedgehogs to eat.
- Water sources can also dry up meaning they have nothing to drink.
If you are experiencing a heatwave, put a little food and water out each night so the hedgehogs have something to eat and drink until the weather changes again.
- Ice and snow
Hedgehogs hibernate during the winter so are largely not affected by colder weather. If the temperature drops during their hibernation, and their bodies get too cold, they will wake up and move to a warmer spot.
They do wake during hibernation if they need food, and the colder weather will mean there is very little food available for them.
Hedgehogs generally venture out in all weathers, but like the rest of us, they prefer it dry. As long as they have sources of food available, the weather won’t affect them much, but they do need to watch their nests in case of extreme weather.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Does the weather affect when a hedgehog hibernates?
Yes, it does. Hedgehogs usually hibernate between November and Mid-March. If the weather turns colder earlier, then they may choose to hibernate earlier. A mild winder and early spring can also see the hedgehog wake up from hibernation earlier than normal.
Do hedgehogs like sunshine?
Hedgehogs are nocturnal and are not suited to daylight or sunny weather. They will not come out if it is sunny, so if you do see one, it often means that the hedgehog is in need of help.
Should I put food out if it’s snowing?
If it’s snowing then the hedgehogs will be in hibernation, but that doesn’t mean they won’t want food. They do occasionally wake up during their hibernation to forage for food, and winter weather often means food is scarce. It won’t hurt to put a small dish with cat or dog food out for them, with a separate dish of water. It may not get eaten, every day, but you may find the od hedgehog takes advantage of it.