What Do Badgers Look Like? – What Colors Do they have?

Many people are confused about badger’s appearance and raise the questions like what do badgers look like? What colors do they have? Badgers are quite easily distinguishable from their appearance in the wild as well as in captivity.

These are stocky, flat animals having wedge-shaped bodies. They weigh around 10-12 kg and are almost 90cm in length. They have a grizzled grey color coat which also gives some other shades like black, brown, and yellow. They have a white color chest and neck.

The most distinctive feature of the badger is its face which also makes it different from a honey badger. The nose seems like a white stripe that goes from nose to neck along with a black and white color cheek. They have very small ears and eyes but pointed noses. They have a very strong sense of smell like dogs.

They have very small black legs which are almost invisible under the shaggy skirt of fur. They seem like waddle or flow across the ground while running. The badger’s tail is not noticeable due to its short size and the same color as the rest of the body.

They are the members of the weasel family and are most dominantly found in the grasslands of North America, southern Mexico, and somewhere in British Columbia. They might look very cute, innocent, and shy but actually, they are very ferocious animals and release very unpleasant smells whenever feel threatened.

What Do Badgers Look Like - 3 badgers
Here is What the badgers look like.

Classification of badgers

Badgers are extremely difficult to classify. Classification has become quite complex. It is being revised again and again. It has not become clear which animal should be classified as “true badgers”. Generally speaking, scientists are satisfied with three badger species, Eurasian, Asian hog, and North American badger.

It has become controversial to add honey badgers to this category because they are genetically much different. However, they have been included in the badger’s kin for the time being.

Identification of a badger

American badgers have dark faces but gray-shaded bodies. They have flat muscular bodies but very short necks. On the other hand, European badgers are social animals. They also have grayish bodies but long black and white facial stripes.

Groundhog badgers have mixed black and gray colors but have pale claws. They have white-colored throats, ears, and tails. Honey badgers come in a combination of colors. The upper body has a white shade and but the lower parts including the face are black.

Badger’s size measurement

Let’s have a look at the average size of the badgers. Both male and female badgers vary in size. Males are big and almost 30-inches in size but females are slightly small in size. Little size doesn’t mean that they are not powerful enough. They can still put up a tough fight.

Some Unique features of badgers

Indeed, badgers have many features but the most prominent features which make them the most distinguishable from other animals are given as:

Face: Black and white markings on the head and the white stripe on the nose are unique features. The ears are also positioned at the side rather than at the top like the other Ontario animals.

Tail: They have a fairly long tail but due to its the same color as the rest of the body and close attachment with the body makes it is less conspicuous.

Claws: They have very long claws up to 1.5 inches in length. These are the best way to identify the badger as this kind of claw is not found in any other Ontario animal. Only the front claws are sharp, long, and strong but the back claws are not much different than other animals.

What do badgers look like in terms of eyes?

Badgers when born as Cubs have very small eyes and are not noticeable until the sixth week of their birth. They are usually considered blind when born and just have a thin coat of fur.

Normally, they have very dark-tinted eyes with dark black pupils. Only in the rare case, they can alternate the color of their eyes. owing to their stripped face and dark face, they might pop up in the night but you don’t need to worry much about it as they don’t normally attack humans at first sight.

What do badgers' eyes look like at night
Badger’s eyes at night.

Badger’s resemblance with other mammals

Some animals like skunks, groundhogs, raccoons, and opossums are sometimes confused with badgers due to their appearance. There are many similarities but of course few differences among them.


Groundhogs have almost the same body shape as badgers. They also have a relatively small tail. But they have a solid brown color with no special marking on the face. Although they live in burrows there size is much smaller and they are also herbivores.

Groundhog - example
Groundhog – example

They have a light grey color and their tail is almost the same as badgers. They have dark legs like badgers but their feet are very small.

An opossum on a fence wall
Opossum – Example

Raccoons have the almost same color as badgers and their size is also much similar but their legs are longer. The markings on the face are also horizontal rather than vertical like badgers. Source.

A racoon in a jungle staring at us.
Raccoon – Example

It is a nocturnal animal with having black color. It comes with a white strip on the face like a badger.

A skunk roaming on grass
Skunk – Example

Can badgers change color?

No, they don’t change their original color like other wild animals. They have a shade of brown and gray color on the body with black and white faces. They adapt themselves according to various kinds of weather but don’t necessarily also change their color. They can also use their unnoticeable color for their protection from predators.

Is it rare to see a badger?

They are solitary animals and also like to hunt at night time when there is a minimum human activity so you can rarely see these animals. You might see them while crossing the road or find them dead on the side of the road. In some areas, where the population of badgers is in much abundance, you can often see them in the wild in these places. But you have to keep a very keen eye as these are very small animals.

When do the badgers come out?

Since badgers are nocturnal animals, they normally come out at night. They also don’t socialize very much and usually try to remain in their home range. They leave their dens at various times but only in the nights or evenings. You must come out in the twilight hours of the night if you want to have a glimpse of the badgers.

Frequently asked questions

They have black and brown color fur on its body. There are white color stripes on the cheeks as well as from the nose to the back of its head. The ears are small and at the side but the claws are long as well as strong. They are between 20-32 inches in length and weigh around 24 pounds.

  • They can hunt together.
  • Eurasian badgers share their burrows without fighting.
  • There are 11 species of badgers.


Badgers have different kinds of species and each varies in terms of size, color, weight, and many other distinctive features. There might be some differences but you can identify them by analyzing some specific features like the head color, and the design of white stripes on their faces.

Thus, we can say it is easy to tell what do badgers look like. You can also analyze their age and region from their appearance.

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