We’ve heard people give a lot of crazy and cruel excuses for killing wild animals, but perhaps the most upsetting reason we’ve heard is, “It was eating my birdseed.” Several of our patients last year were orphans who came to us because the mothers had inconvenienced someone by nibbling some sunflower seeds.
Folks, this simply isn’t fair. A wild animal doesn’t have any way of knowing that your bird feeders are only meant for birds. When you put out an abundant source of food, animals of all sorts will take advantage of the snack. It’s simply the reality of feeding birds!
Nevertheless, you can dramatically reduce the likelihood of having your feeders raided by raccoons by bringing your feeders inside from dusk until dawn. Raccoons are primarily nocturnal or crepuscular and often avoid foraging in the middle of the day, and songbirds won’t eat from your feeders at night anyway.
If you do have a raccoon who’s learned to eat from bird feeders and comes out in the daytime, consider mixing hot pepper into your seed mixes. Most birds are not bothered by spice, but mammals are, and they’re likely to leave the seed mix for the birds after tasting the heat!