The American Badger (Taxidea taxus) is a very active, hardworking, and highly adaptable creature. These furry mustelids are found in the United States and parts of Mexico and Canada, which all experience changes in weather conditions throughout the different seasons each year.
How do these furry mammals fare during different seasons and weather? Are they nocturnal or do they like being active in the morning? When are badgers most active?
Join Floofmania in exploring how badgers behave during the day, at night, and in different weather and seasons. Let’s go!
Are American Badgers Nocturnal?
Table of Contents
- 1 Are American Badgers Nocturnal?
- 2 What Do American Badgers Do At Night?
- 3 What Do American Badgers Do All Day?
- 4 Do American Badgers Come Out In Harsh Weather Conditions?
American Badgers are nocturnal which means that they are primarily active at night and sleep during the day. During the nighttime, they do badger tasks that are essential for their survival such as hunting for food and digging burrows and setts. Although, some badgers can also be active during the day.
At What Time Of The Day Do American Badgers Come Out?
The exact time that badgers come out depends on their location. But like most nocturnal animals, badgers come out at dusk as soon as the sun starts setting. This gives them more time to do their badger tasks and activities such as hunting prey around their territories, and the skill they’re most known for, digging.
Badger activities are very physical and require a lot of energy. Imagine roaming around and digging all night for food. So, badgers also need to get some rest. Hence, they get back to their settes at sunrise to enjoy a good day’s sleep and get ready for another tiring night.
Do American Badgers Come Out Every Night? (How Active Are They?)
Badgers are very active creatures but they do not come out every night. When prey is hard to come by, they will choose to sleep in their den and endure their hunger. This will help save their energy until the food is available again.
During cold winter nights, they also come out less often, to avoid the freezing temperature. However, badgers do not hibernate. Instead, they enter a state of torpor. In this state, the animal lowers its heart and breathing rate, slowing its system’s consumption of energy. It’s a great help when there is less food available.
Usually, badgers stay in torpor for about 29 hours at a time. In one winter season, they can go into torpor as many as 30 times, depending on the temperatures.
However, darkness in winter is long, and if conditions are favorable, such as temperatures above the freezing point, American badgers can be relatively active throughout the long winter nights.
On the other hand, badgers show more activity during summer. It has been reported that a badger travels an average of 2,100 feet in 12 hours during this season. This level of activity is evident during their breeding season when badgers come out to find a mate. Prey is also abundant in summer so, it is not surprising that hungry badgers will go roaming around to eat.
Why An American Badger Might Come Out During The Day
Some badgers may come out during the day because of several reasons and the biggest factor for their activity is related to food.
If a badger smells some yummy prey close by, it will come out and grab the opportunity to catch it for a meal. Female badgers caring for their young also forage while the sun is up to stay with their cubs at night. American badgers are lucky as they don’t have a lot of predators so they don’t have much to worry about.
You can also see a badger out and about in daylight when their homes are disturbed. If they feel under the weather or sick, the badger might also come out of its den.
What Do American Badgers Do At Night?
Have you ever been curious about what badgers are busy doing at night? Well, badgers can be seen roaming around at night as they hunt their food. They are carnivorous and their main diet includes small animals like the following:
- Pocket gophers
- Prairie dogs
- Deer mice
- Ground squirrels
But badgers are technically omnivores so, they also eat vegetation. Some of their favorites include carrots, tomatoes, apples, and berries. These mammals are not picky and will eat what is available.
Badgers are also fossorial animals and they are made for digging. They have strong limbs and sharp claws which they use to dig up to 30-foot-long burrows! With their outstanding digging skills, we can call them living excavation machines.
These furry creatures dig underground to create setts which they use to rest after a long day of work. They also use their amazing digging skills in their hunting.
Badgers dig where their prey is and catch them for food. Some get into their prey’s burrow and hide inside to surprise the prey animal as it comes back home -very clever!
Do American Badgers Make A Lot Of Noise At Night?
Badgers do make a lot of noise. They are known to bark, growl, and create more sounds which can be quite surprising to hear at night, especially when everyone else is asleep.
Here are some sounds badgers create.
Badgers are ferocious animals. They will not back down from a fight. A sound these feisty mustelids create while fighting is called the “kecker” which is kind of a chattering noise that can get pretty loud. You can also hear them growling and snarling at their enemy to intimidate them.
Want to see how that goes? Check out this video of an American badger versus a cougar.
Badgers also have mating calls. Their breeding season occurs in late summer to early fall. When a male badger wants to attract a female, he will make a sound that sounds almost like purring called a “churr.” They are actually very noisy when they are mating, which can last about an hour.
When baby badgers are anxious, in pain, or distressed, they will wail or squeak to catch their mother’s attention. It’s a behavior similar to how we used to wail or cry as babies when we are uncomfortable or hungry.
Badgers also bark. They make this sound when they are playing. These animals, especially the younger ones like fooling around with each other. They also bark when they get surprised or annoyed.
Do Badgers Have Night Vision?
Badgers have good eyesight, but they do not have night vision. Their eyes are not very effective at night and unfortunately, night vision goggles are not available for badgers. But they use their good sense of hearing and keen sense of smell to navigate in the dark.
Fun Fact: Badgers are actually born blind and are only able to see when they are 4-6 weeks old.
What Do American Badgers Do All Day?
Badgers sleep all day! As nocturnal creatures, their sleeping time is during daylight when the sun is seen in the sky. They use the daytime to rest and get some sleep after a tiring night of hunting. They stay in their burrows to recharge and get ready for another round of activities at dusk.
Do American Badgers Come Out In Harsh Weather Conditions?
Badgers usually do not come out in harsh weather conditions. A big factor affecting their activity in different weather conditions is the availability of resources. If there is nothing to hunt, the badger will not brave the extreme weather.
As mentioned before, badgers stay in their den when it is too cold outside. This is when the temperature falls below the freezing point, and heavy snow is falling. One reason for this is, of course, food. Prey is difficult to find in deep snow or frozen ground. There is no point in going out, and wasting energy when food is unavailable.
When heavy rain falls, the badger may choose to stay inside and wait for it to stop. But a bit of rain does not seem to bother the badger as seen in this video.
In terms of intense heat, badgers stay underground enjoying their rest during the daytime when the temperature is likely at its peak. So, we can say that these nocturnal mustelids do not come out when it is too hot. However, if their current habitat becomes too hot, they will move to a more favorable environment.
In addition, badgers sometimes come out on windy days but they do not stay for too long. They can be seen preparing their den by digging underground to seek shelter from an incoming storm. Although, because of their short stature, they look unbothered by the strong wind on the ground.
Author: Jomvie Reyes
Jomvie has been a writer for over 10 years and animals and wildlife are among his favorite topics. Learning and writing about the vast and diverse wildlife from all over the world, is more of a hobby than a job for him. Jomvie loves to watch and observe these remarkable species up close and personal.