Badger

OVERVIEW

All the badger species are fossorial, creating many-chambered underground dens, and spending much of their lives below ground.
Badgers do allot of stalking at night, but are seen out and about in the daytime as well. They are excellent hunters of earth-dwelling prey including rabbits, groundhogs, ground squirrels, mice and snakes.

Biology & Behavior

The badger has very thick fur and loose skin which allows it to twist around, even when having been grabbed from behind by a predator, to defend itself with its impressive canines.

Most badgers live solitary lives once weaned from their mother, but have overlapping territories and may occasionally run into each other and socialize.

Noises

The badger’s vocal repertoire consists of at least sixteen discrete calls, varying from long, low pitched growls to short, high-pitched squeaks and bird-like coos. Churrs, purrs, and keckers seem to be restricted to adults only, while chirps, clucks, coos, squeaks and wails are confined to the badger cub’s repertoire.

Tracks

The overall compression shape of badger tracks can be described as ‘rectangular’ or ‘boxy’. A clear front track usually consists of 5 toes with 5 long claw marks. The rear track also has 5 toes and much shorter claws (which often do not show up in tracks).

Scat

Badgers poo in shallow pits called ‘latrines’. Their droppings vary from firm and sausage-shaped, to softer, slimier and darker if they’ve been eating lots of worms! Badger droppings have a sweet, musky smell.

Damage

From time to time badgers do cause various problems for gardeners and landowners. These include: Damage to lawns, bowling greens and golf courses. This is usually caused by badgers digging small holes or lifting up turf while foraging for cranefly larvae (leatherjackets), cockchafer larvae or other grubs (see photo).

Trail Cam

Up Close