Märka mäkra

Mägravaatlusi sisestati mullu loodusvaatluste andmebaasi ainult 7. Tänavu mägra-aastal ootame neid rohkem. Mäkra looduses kohata pole lihtne, vähesed on teda näinud. Ent tema tegevusjälgi –  käpajälgi mudas, liivas või lumel, urgusid ja käiguradasid pole raske leida. Mäger on levinud pea üle kogu Eesti.

Ootame mägravaatlusi! - loe lähemalt »

Badger does not sleep

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Fri, 10.02.2017 - 11:20
mäger talvel
Trail camera image from Valgamaa. Badgers are awake.
Photo Kalmer Lehepuu

Posted by the Animal of the Year team, 05.02.2017


The Year of the Badger has ended but here is a recent trail camera image of badgers. The snow has come and gone, and come and gone again this year in Valgamaa. At most there was about 10 cm of it. At  present there is no snow and it seems as if the sleep of badgers has vanished with the snow. From January 23rd they have come out of the burrow every evening  at about 7 o’clock to go on their badgers’ business.

Kalmer Lehepuu

Capricious autumn left frogs out late

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Sun, 18.12.2016 - 01:49
külmumine veekogus
The common or grass or brown frog that is to the menu of the Animal of the Year, the badger, spends the winter buried in mud at the bottom of water bodies. This year’s first snow startled all cold-blooded creatures into using any paths in the snow to reach the waters quickly. But they were not caught in a badger’s jaws because badgers preparing for winter sleep have finished feeding by that time.
Photo: Tarmo Mikussaar

Posted by the Animal of the Year team 07.12.2016

On the threshold of early winter let us glance at the autumn this year. The peculiarity of the 2016 autumn was the early snow. Already on October 25 the first snowmen appeared in Estonia. True, their life was not long..

Badger now

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Sat, 26.11.2016 - 12:34
värske mägrajälg
Fresh print. The badger’s steps resemble the trail of a tiny bear. The five toes and claws can be clearly counted.
Photo: Tiit Hunt

Posted by the Animal of the Year team, 19.11.2016 

In the Saaremaa badger camera we saw most recently five sturdy animals on November 5, just before the arrival of frost and snow. On November 12 when we finished transmitting for this year from the badger sett and brought the camera to the red deer site the thermometer again went back gently to the plus side and drizzle.

Badger stories: Encounter on a forest path

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Sat, 12.11.2016 - 13:52
mäger metsateel
In November the badger is settling down to winter sleep, some animals are already asleep, comfortably fattened up. But we would like to remind once more of the badger’s doings in spring when he is a quite slim creature and actively looking for food. In the photo the badger pads along a forest path in early spring until he notices the human, whom he inspects for a moment, then calmly leaves. Until meetings in spring!
Author of photo: Kristiina Tohv

Posted by the Animal of the Year team, 09.11.2016

International miracle remedy

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Sat, 29.10.2016 - 12:21

Overeating makes one sleepy, lazy and fat. Only a month ago such an image was not to be thought of: the badger flops down to sleep in front of the burrow. But a badger preparing for winter tends to be tired after one more major bellyful.

Posted by the Animal of the Year team, 15.10.2016
Video recorded by Tiit Hunt, rmk.ee


Bites for badgers – VOL 2

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Thu, 27.10.2016 - 10:03
Posted by the Animal of the Year team, 07.10.2016

Slowworms too go in the stomach of badgers if this protected legless lizard, looking like a length of copper tubing happens to be in the badger’s path.
Photo: Tiit Hunt
Nests of bumblebees and wasps in the ground are scratched open and eaten whole.
Photo: Tiit Hunt

Badger annoys

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Sat, 01.10.2016 - 11:30
mäger tuhib inimese elupaikades
Posted by the Animal of the Year team, 29.09.2016

One morning in the home yard …
Photo: Aado Kivi
mägraaugud koduhoovis
...badger holes had become part of the courtyard lawn design. The next night the owner put in floodlights to light up the yard and that frightened the miscreants off

Photo: Aado Kivi

Soomaa badger sett

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Mon, 12.09.2016 - 11:13
mägralinnak Soomaal peauks
Posted by the Animal of the Year team, 02.09.2016.

The arched main gate. The highest burrow entrance of the beautiful Soomaa sett goes in between the collapsed walls of the old earth cellar.

mägra kraanikauss
Luxurious bathroom. A human too can drink from the badger’s ”sink”.

Intrepid creatures

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Mon, 05.09.2016 - 22:41

Brown rat in front of badger burrow. All, birds as well as small mammals, seem to regard death outside or inside the predator's burrow as the natural course of things. 
Video: Tiit Hunt

Posted by the Animal of the Year team, 01.09.2016

Badger camera: Badger cubs turned up

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Thu, 25.08.2016 - 10:15

In the video clip from the evening of August 16th firstly an adult badger is visible and then suddenly, running with quick steps, clearly slimmer creatures – the cubs of this year. How long we have waited for this sight in the badger camera!
Video captured by Fleur.in the badger camera forum.


Posted by the Animal of the Year team, 19.08.2016



What do badgers fatten up on in autumn?

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Mon, 15.08.2016 - 12:15
mäger kõikesööja
Posted by the Animal of the Year team 10.08.2016 

Just now mainly fruits rich in carbohydrate are on the badger’s menu: raspberries, lingonberries, blueberries. In abandoned farm yards currants and apples too.
Photo: Tarmo Mikussaar

The middle of summer has passed. The closer to autumn, the more fruits are ripe, or ripening, in nature. It is a good time for a badger to start preparing for winter. Among important tasks the duty to fatten up one’s body has moved into the foreground.

Interior of badger’s home

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Wed, 10.08.2016 - 12:45
Multi-storey badger house on flat land. The burrows are at different levels, the nest chambers generally at a distance of 4-5 m from the entrance, the sleeping quarters however deeper to protect against winter cold.  In the simplified diagram there is only one entrance but usually the nest chamber (upper level) can be entered from two openings.
Drawing by Leo Lätti

Posted by the Animal of the Year Team

How the badger’s home might look below ground only the badger itself knows; hunters who have excavated badger burrows might have an idea. The latter experiences are mostly from the time when raccoon dog skins were still highly valued.

Badger’s subtenants VOL 2

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Sun, 10.07.2016 - 09:51
In addition to the badger setts, nowadays the stacks of wood for chipping may also be home to foxes.
Tarmo Mikussaar

I saw fox cubs at play around a chipping wood stack. This is also a bit of explanation to the fact that the fox burrows in the neighbourhood were empty this year. Why a fox family should prefer chips stacks to the burrows is not clear. In the stacks at field verges brown hares (Lepus europaeus), various rodents, weasels and stoats may also live, in addition to the above foxes and raccoon dogs. In forests there are also pine martens and several more rodent species besides those mentioned. Of birds I have come across wagtails, redbacked shrikes, whitethroats, blackbirds, wrens, robins etc.

Badger’s subtenants VOL 1

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Sat, 09.07.2016 - 09:47
kähriku pojad
As home for young raccoon dogs we now also see the stacks of wood for chipping.
Tarmo Mikussaar


In addition to the badgers, sometimes also foxes and raccoon dogs live in badger setts but with the changes in the use of wood their choice of places for living has widened in recent years. A new phenomenon in our landscape are the stacks of wood chips. As ever, nature does not like empty space and so new inhabitants have quickly moved into these stacks too. Usually stacks left standing for a somewhat longer period are preferred. Furred as well as feathered species live there.

In a stack left standing for a couple of years I this year discovered raccoon dog pups – among the most lovable  animal ”children” in our forests.

Badger in the light nights

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Mon, 27.06.2016 - 09:18
mäger uudistab
As a rule the badger goes out to forage in dusk but in the light nights now the time in the dark will be too short and badgers can be seen already in the afternoon.
Photo: Tarmo Mikussaar
 At Midsummer vacations start for many of us and there will be free time to rove in nature too. Some may have played with the idea to have a look at the Animal of the Year and planned a visit to a known badger sett, in the hope of meeting the owner. What is needed for  success?
Firstly, we should ask whether we disturb the badger with our visit? Certainly we do, but if we behave respectfully around his home and are not intrusive, the badger can peacefully go on with its life after our visit.

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