Sunday, October 24, 2021

Trash Panda Bandits

Every Saturday I fill the birdfeeders.  The main feeder holds six pounds of bird seed that I mix by hand to attract the biggest variety of birds.  The feeder is attached to a cord that I can raise or lower for easy filling.  I did it this way to prevent squirrels from eating the seed.

Despite my efforts, inevitably the feeder is empty by Monday morning.  I have always thought this was weird since the small birds in our yard could not possibly eat that much food in two days.  The only time this would be believable would be in the Spring when the blackbirds migrate through and swarm the feeders.  Another strange fact was that the feeders were being emptied out at night … hmmmm.

Birds visiting the feeder.
So I decided to solve the mystery once and for all and I purchased a hunting camera.  The camera is made to be attached to a tree or post and is triggered by motion.  It works at day or night.  I filled up the feeder, placed the camera where it had a good view of the feeder, and waited a week.

Two racoons burgling the feeder.
It really didn't take long.  I was expecting to see a racoon, sometimes referred to a trash panda since they like trash and they are related to pandas, but I was a bit surprised to see two.  I also learned it takes two visits to totally empty the feeder (Note the top picture with the birds - the feeder is half full after the racoon's first visit).

A Trash Panda taking a selfie.
I am considering adding another section of pipe to raise the feed out of the racoon's reach.  I would rather feed the birds instead of the racoons and the food would last a lot longer if only the birds are visiting.

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