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Raccoons and Bird Feeders

Thursday, June 4, 2009

It's raccoon season, that special time of year when any sunflower seed we put out goes mostly into the gullets of huge fat fearless procyonids. It's only gonna get worse from here on out, as the lactating females come in.

These photos were taken the day I took the cylinder feeder and globe feeder down, for obvious reasons. We knew this nice copper baffle would never stop a raccoon, but we bought it anyway, thinking it might slow down any squirrel that tried something.

Yes, I'm talking to you. What do you think you're doing out there in the bold daylight, hanging on like that and emptying my feeder?

He took a few more gullet fulls before mumbling something about being ready to leave anyway. I had to admire his flexibility and strength. It can't be easy to hold that bulk up with one's hind legs while maneuvering one's front half onto the feeder.

Yep, just leaving, left something burning on the stove, sorry to gobble and run...

Mether. Why do you always wait until the racketycoon is in the woods before you let me out? I could have beat him up for you. I'm up on my rabies shots.

Thank you, Chet Baker, but I prefer my dogs unshredded.

Note turd-tail antenna, straight out. Be- be- be- be- beep beep! Racketycoon!

I cope with 'coon season by putting out only as much food as the birds will eat in a day, just a half scoop on the screen-bottomed platform feeder. The peanut feeder is pretty much coon proof (so far this year), and it's double-wired onto the hook, so they don't get much joy from it. I don't want to be putting out pounds and pounds of seed in summer, anyway, so it's probably just as well we have these furry marauders to keep us honest and the birds healthier. And needless to say, Zick dough is but a distant memory.


Great shots of your raccoon. I had one visit my feeders a while back. Took some photos and now he has moved on since I stopped putting so much feed out for the birds. Taking notes of your comments about summer feeding.

That coon really is a scamp, going at it in broad daylight. The nerve!

I heard your NPR piece yesterday! Love that Bacon!

C'mon, admit it, marauders or not, ya gotta love those masked bandits...

Luckily we only have squirrels doing that.

Unluckily, our neighbours have racoons raising families in their attic. Fourth year in a row.

Raccoons just keep on trying.
And just the other day, a bear broke my nicest pole feeder right in half!

I was finally able to find a squirrel proof feeder and so far the raccoons have not raided it..but the season is young. I'll let you know how I make out. I love watching the little buggers, but we had to relocate over 30 one year..fat and corn fed from my feeders.

Everything you say about feeders and feeding this summer rings true with me, but I can't get past laughing out loud at the word "racketycoon". It's a new one. And, Chet's bravery is so endearing.

I've had a raccoon on a shelled nut feeder several times in the past few months. It's nearly crushed beyond repair.

I know they're naughty around bird feeders, but I still enjoy seeing raccoons. It's amazing to see how determined yours is to get to those sunflower seeds Julie!

Wow--raccoons go one-up on squirrels. Baffle? what baffle?
I thought it was a raccoon shelf.

The ingenuity of hungry animals is never-ending.

Around here, raccoons are too often carriers of rabies.

Since we discovered that raccoons stand crotch high, we haven't been outdoors.

Also: racketycoon. Hmm. Did someone ELSE's daddy love Pogo?

In our area it is highly recomended that all feeders be removed by April 1. The problem with leaving them up is they attract bears. Bears being habitual animals will return and return and become human tolerant. Unfortunatly humans are generally bear tolerant. You and I may be bear tolerant, but when bears loose the fear of you and I they also loose their fear of those who are not bear friendly.

Worse, "nuisance bears" are often destroyed (killed) by Dept. of Fish and Wildlife folks, and so we as responsible wildlife appreciators should not, in my opionion, encourage bears to come to feeders.

Just an opinion. Take it for what is worth.


Bill, you are so right. And I merely got tired, fell asleep & forgot to bring in my feeders.
Lesson learned & intend to be more diligent.
Hope that particular bear will forget about us after awhile.

Masked marauders are too fun! Such ingenious critters, and always full of entertaining antics.

Glad you got to see--and photograph--this one while it was raiding your feeders.

Julie you might like this photo of a raccoon at the feeders at our visitors centre.

Nice set of photographs. I love raccoons and will feed them when they come around.

You might like to read the story about us almost moving to Alaska...

Homesteading in Alaska

we have the same problem with raccoons, squirrels, crows and even rabbits visiting the feeders!!

Yup, we have problems with raccoons raiding the bird feeders too... only in our case, it's the so-called "squirrel-proof" feeder that the raccoons have managed to outsmart. The feeder has a weighted perch that leaves the feeding slot open for the birds but closes when a squirrel sits on it. The raccoons will sit on the back part of the feeder and hang their paws over to scoop up the seed! They leave such a mess that the squirrels end up eating what they've spilled. So much for critter-proof!

Dearest Chet Baker:

I know you are a Dog of Great Courage, but please listen to Mether and do not attempt to relocate the racketycoon. This animal is stronger than you, meaner than you, and heavier than you are, and it would put a big time hurt on you.

Show us your bravery by ousting the squirrtles, chippitymunks, and bunnehs, but leave those big bad racketycoons alone.

Thank you.


Wow--I thought we had problems with squirrels and the very occasional hawk. We have "squirrel proof" feeders--the green one with the bar and the baffle. The latter is close enough to the house that they climb to the roof and jump. Hate to move it 'cuz I don't want to see the little guys fall! We like the little acrobats and glad to see you do, too--some birding folks I've talked with don't. Gotta give the critters credit for outsmarting us, even if it does sting the human ego a bit.

Good to hear about reduced summer feeding--we can hardly keep up and feel guilty--but we also get house finches with conjunctivitis, so probably good for everyone spread out now and then.

Great to see the American Gentleman--no pressure, but we need another big Chet fix!

I've been working for two years, summer & winter, trying to outsmart the raccoons feasting on my birdfeed along with red & gray squirrels & deer - gratefully no bears. I've even seen a pair of foxes having a nocturnal picnic side by side with 3 raccoons. Finally (or so I thought) last month I came up with the idea to use an old hard plastic 18" dia. mooring ball slipped over the pole as a baffle. (I'll post a photo if I can.)

This has been a great success!!!. No squirrels can get around it & until last night the raccoons had been foiled as well. A 1 AM look out the window revealed a triumphant raccoon sitting on the platform working hard to get seed through the 1/2" mesh hardware cloth. And so my work continues. I know he or she will be back and that eventually the hardware cloth will be ripped up and the seed devoured.

Yes, I know I could take the feeder in at night, but that is not an easy chore and doing that means that the real early birds (I'm not one of them) are deprived of their breakfast.

Maybe a bigger mooring ball? Oh, and as for the gray squirrels, I discovered that any platform less than 5' off the ground is an easy jump for them. 4' is a cinch, but the extra 12" does the trick.

Yes, I do enjoy seeing the wildlife. Happy to have them eating off the ground. But the grays and the raccoons are little destroyers and that's the dilemma. Good luck to us all.

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