The Badger Christmas Party!

In winter, it is very difficult for me to go and see the badgers. It’s cold. It’s dark. But it’s not simply a matter of willpower – if it is cold, the badgers are less likely to come out (the go into a sort of semi-hibernation in winter, only coming out on milder days), and if it is dark (which it inevitably will be) I simply cannot see them without using a torch, let alone try to film them.
This is where the alternative of a trail camera starts to look very appealing. You simply leave it out there before nightfall, and collect it the next day. You don’t have to wait in the cold, and you can actually get footage because it films in infra-red.
So I have been using it a lot more recently, and on Christmas Eve (which happened to be particularly mild this year) the badgers had an absolute party!
I counted 7 badgers at one point, all in a single frame. They were very busy all night – replacing bedding, scratching and grooming, fighting, and even mating!
It was very difficult to understand exactly what was going on with the badgers – as you can see in the compilation I made beneath, they appeared to be fighting, mating and grooming all in the space of thirty seconds. What could this mean?
I stumbled across a very useful hint in one of the films – a high pitched ‘chittering’ call, made by the female that was being attacked by the male. After a quick bit of internet research, I discovered this call was often associated with distressed females, who are being harassed to mate by a male. This fitted in very well with what I was seeing, so I assume that is what happened. Have a look for yourselves in the compilation video I made beneath!
(WARNING, don’t have your volume turned up too loud, there is music)

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