Thursday, December 2, 2010

American Badger

This is a badger I saw waddling along a road a couple days ago.  The American Badger (Taxidea taxus) is wide, flat and low to the ground. 

Badgers are shy and wary creatures, as they should be, so it started running across the field when it realized I was interested.  I, thereafter, only got shots of its tail end. 

Badgers are large members of the Weasel Family 
They dig to get to their food supply of ground squirrels, pocket gophers, mice, voles and snakes.  And boyhowdy, can they dig!  I've watched a badger dig itself a burrow in a summerfallow field;  within a minute it was out of sight. 

The Burrowing Owl is also on the badger's grocery list, but the Burrowing Owl population mostly benefits by using abandoned holes for nesting. 

Some recently excavated holes at the side of the road:

Apparently, badgers and coyotes sometimes hunt together, as it were.  The coyotes nab some prey as it tries to escape the badger digging.  The badger gains when prey dives into tunnels to escape from the coyote. 

Once common across the prairies, they are increasingly uncommon nowadays. Humans with guns and/or farm equipment, like to kill badgers so they can then complain about all the gophers around. 

Information from, at North American Badger Facts and  the Kaufman Field Guide to Mammals of North America


  1. Although I've seen many badger excavations, I've only see a badger in native habitat 3 or 4 times, but never in the winter. Seeing one and catching photos in the wilds of winter is a real accomplishment K.

  2. i have never seen a badger..great series..

  3. Thanks for the compliments. I love badgers, too. I see one every so often mostly because I am usually travelling on the very least travelled roads...

  4. I'm envious never seen a badger,in my youth when I lived in Garson seen a hole dug by one!