BADGERS ARE NOCTURNAL
This means that they are most active at night. During the day they stay underground in their setts, where they might sleep and groom each other. At night they go out to look for food and spend a lot of time clearing out and gathering fresh bedding, playing and digging.
Badgers are part of the weasel (mustelid) family
They are related to otters, stoats, weasels, pine martens,pole cats and ferrets and are the largest mustelid in the UK. Mustelids have scent glands and give off a strong, musty smell. Most of them have a long body, round ears and short legs.
BADGERS LIVE IN SETTS
A sett is an underground burrow with lots of tunnels and chambers which they dig using their sharp claws. There are lots of different types of setts in a territory but the main sett is the biggest. Some main setts are hundreds of years old and have hundreds of entrances too!
BADGERS ARE MAMMALS
This means that they give birth to live young called cubs. The female badger (sow) provides milk for her cubs for the first 8-10 weeks of their life before weaning them. They also have thick black and white fur which looks grey.
BADGERS EAT A VERY VARIED DIET
In the UK the Eurasian badger eats mostly earthworms. They also eat a lot of fruit, seeds and berries and cereals in the late summer. A smaller part of their diet is small mammals, frogs and birds and also beetles. In other countries they have different diets!
BADGERS HAVE POOR EYESIGHT
Badgers can’t see very well, even though they are most active in the dark. They do have excellent hearing and sense of smell and are much more likely to hear or smell you than see you.
Badgers aren’t just good at digging!
Even though they don’t look like it, they are very good at climbing. They can also swim quite well.
BADGERS ARE VERY STRONG
Badgers can move very large stones when they are digging. They have muscles all around their jaw and have a very strong bite, that’s why some people like to fight their dogs against them.
Most badger setts are in broadleaved woodland, but they can also be found just about anywhere. It is important that they have access to food, so the ideal habitat has plenty of good worming pasture! The soil needs to be well draining and easy to dig, so lots of sand is best.