Month-by-month guide to badger activity

Find out what badgers get up to throughout the year.

Badger

January

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Badgers do not hibernate, but their activity is irregular at this time of year. Sows are pregnant and all the group members are living off their fat reserves.

February

The month when most cubs are born, and also the start of the mating season. Typically, two or three cubs are reared, but this depends on a sow’s age and social status.

March

Badgers are more active – reflected by a peak in road kills. Sows often move their cubs if disturbed by amorous males. Look for freshly dug soil and discarded bedding.

April

Cubs make their first appearance above ground. The adults are very hungry, especially lactating sows, and all spend more time foraging.

May

Cubs start to accompany adults on feeding excursions. The breeding sows are extremely wary of potential predators such as foxes, which they often attack on sight.

June

Most cubs are weaned by the end of the month. Long days make this one of the best months for badger watching.

July

Cubs forage independently and travel greater distances in search of food. Adults make increased use of dung pits at greater distances from the sett.

August 

Dry weather can lead to a shortage of worms and other natural food. Mortality increases, especially among the young. Badgers may visit gardens to drink from ponds.

September

Look out for signs of increased digging and bedding collection. Autumn is when most dispersal takes place, involving mainly young males. Increased mobility means another peak in road kills.

October

Shorter days stimulate a second peak of mating activity. Badgers feed heavily on nuts, seeds and berries to lay down fat reserves for the winter.

November

Digging and bedding collection continues. Animals are less active, especially in wet weather. Fewer tunnel entrances are in use and many become blocked with leaves.

December

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More nights are spent underground. Implantation of the blastocysts (fertilised eggs) takes place around the time of the winter solstice in the second half of the month.