This is an open question to any and all badger experts out there. Can badgers see infra-red?
I’ve used my night vision scope twice now (see Fieldnotes: 25th July 2009 – First night vision session and Fieldnotes: 6th March 2010 – A frosty night at the badger sett). On both occasions the badgers have been visibly spooked, presumably by the infra-red light. Of course, this is purely anecdotal evidence – I haven’t done any sort of scientific study – but I’ve spent enough hours watching badgers to know when one is disturbed by something, and all the ones I’ve seen through the night vision scope have indeed been disturbed.
Of course, it might not necessarily be the infra-red. The night vision scope (it’s a Bresser, by the way) may be doing something else to frighten the badgers. It may make a noise that is inaudible to us but audible to badgers, for instance. I don’t know.
So, has anyone had experience of using a night vision scope to watch badgers, particularly with an infra-red torch? Did you notice any signs that the badgers were aware of it? Does anyone know of any research or literature on the subject? Does anyone know if any other animals can see in the infra-red end of the spectrum?
If you have any ideas or experiences, please do let me know. I’ll keep searching myself and let you know if I find anything.