Tuesday, February 16, 2010

When do Hedgehogs Start Hibernating?

He phoned the BBC and asked to be put through to his department head.

“Oh, hello, Arthur Dent here. Look, sorry I haven’t been in [the office] for six months but I’ve gone mad.”

“Oh, not to worry. Thought it was probably something like that. Happens here all the time. How soon can we expect you?”

“When do hedgehogs start hibernating?”

“Sometime in Spring, I think.”

“I’ll be in shortly after that.”

— So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish by Douglas Adams, pg. 54.


  1. Susan G.6:54 PM CST

    You make me laugh! This is why I check your blog and the owl link for the writing, thoughts, photos and intellect. Don't hibernate forever, but take a break, don't burn out. Spring will spring soon, we all hope.

  2. Alison in Indiana3:47 PM CST

    When do hedgehogs hibernate?
    The timing of hibernation does depend on many things including the weather. When it gets very cold, they will hibernate (if they are fit and fat enough) because their natural food disappears in the cold weather. A general guide is November – March although large hedgehogs may hibernate as early as September. However, if it stays mild after November they will stay out longer, and if it warms up in February, you may see them around then! During hibernation a hedgehog will wake up several times, and if you see one it is a good idea to offer food and water, then, if there are no signs of problems, let it go on its way.

    How heavy does a hedgehog need to be to hibernate successfully?
    Hedgehogs under a year old need to be at least 500-600gms in order to have sufficient fat reserves to successfully hibernate. Older hedgehogs will need to be heavier than this. If they are not large enough or well enough to hibernate then they will not. Those seen out late in the year will need extra help to give them a chance to survive.

    But when do screech owls in Texas start making family plans?

  3. "But when do screech owls in Texas start making family plans?"

    In my neck of the woods, that being central Austin, March is usually when nesting begins. However, various pairs time their mating differently, and the warmth of the winter is, of course, a factor, too. I know of one case where nesting began in December!