American badgers are solitary, secretive creatures that spend much of their lives underground. Their long, sharp claws are made for digging. Badgers burrow quickly after prey, including rabbits, mice, moles, voles, lizards, gophers and prairie dogs. They also eat fruit, honey, insects, eggs and birds.
Badgers are related to weasels and otters. They have short, stout bodies with short tails. Their faces are white with black markings. You probably know them from stories like Bedtime for Frances, by Kenneth Hoban, or The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame.
Fun Facts about Badgers for Kids
- Badgers dig burrows with long tunnels and a large room for sleeping. They are clean animals. They go outside to poop and they line their sleeping rooms with clean grass or leaves.
- Badgers don’t hibernate during the winter, but they go into a deep sleep called torpor. During torpor, their body temperature and heart beat goes down. Badgers sleep for a day or two, wake up to eat, and sleep some more.
- Badgers are shy, but they are also brave. They will fight animals much larger than themselves if frightened. Badgers can fight off wolves, coyotes, dogs and even humans.
- Sometimes badgers eat chickens or eggs. Farmers don’t always like badgers.
- Badgers keep mice and other rodents under control so they are actually good.
- Badgers are usually nocturnal. Some badgers live in colonies, or groups.
- Solitary: Alone
- Burrow: Digging in the ground, or an underground home for animals
- Stout: Thick
- Torpor: Deep sleep
- Nocturnal: Sleeps during the day, awake at night
Learn More all About Badgers
Watch this cool video all about badgers:
A National Geographic video documentary about the life of badgers.
Question 1: Are badgers dangerous?
Answer 1: Badgers want to be left alone. They are not dangerous, but they will protect themselves if bothered. Sometimes they carry diseases.
Question 2: Are badgers good mothers?
Answer 2: Badger are good mothers, they have their babies in burrows. The babies are blind at birth. Moms take care of their babies for up to six months. Then the babies are ready to explore the world on their own.
Question 3: Where do Badgers live?
Answer 3: Badgers live underground in what is called Setts. These Setts can be fairly long, even longer than 50 meters.
Question 4: Have Badgers got a good sense of smell?
Answer 4: Badgers have an excellent sense of smell
Question 5: What is a male Badger called?
Answer 5: A male Badger is called a boar, the female is a sow and the babies are cubs. Badgers live together in a group called a Cete.
Question 6: Are Badgers clean animals?
Answer 6: Oh yes they are, a badger will clean as they go. A badger will never go to the toilet in their own homes (Setts). They even change their bedding.
Question 7: What do Badgers eat?
Answer 7: A Badgers main meal is made up of earthworms. They also munch on fruit, and to annoy gardeners they eat flower bulbs. However Badgers also offer a good gardening service by eating insect pests, rats and mice.
Question 8: Can you feed Badgers?
Answer 8: You can leave out some food for Badgers, like wet dog or cat food, they also like seedless grapes, apples, pears. Like your dog never feed a badger chocolate. Only feed a small handful. Badgers need to forage for food like earthworms. You cannot have them rely on handouts. They are wild animals and must always be treated that way.
Question 9: Do Badgers Hibernate?
Answer 9: No Badgers do not hibernate, they are not as active in winter months as they are during the summer.