Possums, Coons and other Varmints

raccoon in treeI know it comes with the territory. Since we live in the country, we’re going to have critters of all shapes and sizes. Normally, I don’t mind them. It’s actually kind of fun to spot them. But when they empty a just-filled bird feeder, they become more of a nuisance than an excitement!

My husband’s dad keeps several bird feeders out all year round. He was gone on a trip last week and my sons were checking his feeders when they realized that they had to fill one feeder every day. Now this was a large feeder and should have lasted longer than that.

They suspected a varmint and scheduled a stake-out. Sure enough, the next day they crept into the yard just as a nice plump opossum slithered away from the now empty bird feeder. They followed him and discovered his den in the ravine nearby. They decided to remove the feeder for awhile and wait for Poppa to decide what he wanted to do.

Meanwhile, Poppa had another very large feeder sitting on the picnic table that was emptying very quickly. A middle of the night check showed several raccoons partying around the feeder. They had actually figured out how to open the top of the feeder and were helping themselves! The next day he took a bungee cord and secured the lid to the picnic table. That night he watched some very frustrated coons!

Woodlink squirrel baffleCritters can be a nuisance around a feeder, especially mid-winter when the snows are heavy and there’s little to eat. There are several things you can do to prevent it, such as being careful of your location, and using a squirrel baffle, but every veteran bird-watcher knows, those critters are smart and if you have food, they will try anything to get it!

Poppa moved the bird feeder so it’s harder for the opossum to get to, and he is waiting to see how long it will take those crafty coons to figure out how to undo the bungee cords! It’s all part of the game and adds a little excitement to the long cold winter days!

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