This summer I’ve been receiving visitors at night. I know I’m not alone at not being entirely thrilled to have them. These masked critters can do a lot of damage to homes if they decide to make a den in an attic or under a shed. They also can have a bad attitude. You may also have seen the funny videos of a raccoon entering a pet door to eat the pet’s food.
Since finding my yard, they have broken two plastic bird feeders and a tray to catch seed under a feeder. I replaced one of the feeders with a wooden one that hung in my backyard on a shepherd’s hook outside my bedroom window. Last Thursday the shepherd’s hook was totally bent to the ground with the feeder and hanging plant on the ground – smashing the plants underneath.
I made a trip to Home Depot to get some fencing to “prevent” them from climbing pole to get to the feeder. I chose chicken wire since they couldn’t climb it. I also got some 4ft rebar and ground stakes to prevent them from going under the fencing. I then decided to use a taller shepherd’s hook that was already in place near my back door.
The 50-ish Home Depot salesman kept chuckling at my plans. He suggested I take VP Joe Biden’s advice to get a shotgun. 🙂
Last night, a little after 9:00pm, I looked out the door to check on things. The raccoon had bypassed the fence by going up the steps to climb on the hand railing. It was sitting on the rail with one of its hands holding the feeder while the other hand scooped the seed. I banged on the door and it scampered away.
Since it was dark, I decided to put up a dog gate to deter it until I could come up with another plan.
This morning I awoke early – while dark – and again looked out the door. I could see the feeder moving. One raccoon was standing between the gate and railing, reaching through the rails to get the seed. A SECOND one was sitting on top of the chicken wire near the railing to get its fill. I opened the door slightly and both scampered, but the one on the porch turned around at the bottom of the steps to stare at me. I’m certain it said, “na-na-na-na-na“.
I put a different type of seed in each of my feeders based on the type of bird I want to attract. This feeder has a mix that appeals to chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, cardinals and bluejays. It contains various tree nuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds and raisins. That’s why the raccoons like it so much.
So today, I hung the feeder on a small limb in the pear tree. The limb “should” be too small to climb and the feeder “should” be too far to reach from the trunk. Plus, the height “should” be too high to jump to. I’ll see how it goes. I may have to EDIT this post to add more. 🙂
Wild Birds Unlimited