We spotted a large hedgehog out in the afternoon sun in our garden yesterday. She seemed in good health and unafraid. Something seemed to be sticking out of her mouth, but it was very hard to get a good look when she hid by a wall.
My husband thought it was a little bird foot, but this seemed ridiculous. We left her in peace and she trundled off into the bushes. On the lawn was a half eaten young sparrow, which one of our cats had caught from the bird table and then eaten the breast in typical faddy cat fashion. The bird was also missing its feet.
A check of the guidebook confirms that cute hedgehogs will eat carrion and like nestlings that fall out of the nest.
We make bread; the crusts go every day to the sparrow; the sparrows make a lot of babies; the cats catch some young sparrows; the hedgehog eats the left overs and makes more hedgehogs. Nature is never wasteful and never soppy!