In which we discover that a “squirrel proof” feeder is not, in fact, “raccoon proof”

this morning, we awoke to discover that our squirrel proof bird feeder was lying on the porch, on its side, empty.

this feeder: – which has, so far, survived the combined efforts of several highly trained suburban assault squirrels. with some difficulty, they are able to extract one seed at a time, with their tongues. eventually, they give up and leave the sunflower seeds to the birds.

when we saw the state of the feeder, we were somewhat perplexed. there had been no strong winds. none of the hardware had failed. and there had been seeds in it as of last night.

then i took a look at the CritterCam footage from the incident.

raccoons vs feeder 1

raccoons vs feeder 2

after examining the footage, we’ve decided this is what happened:

shortly after image 1 was taken, the raccoons were able to lift the feeder off its hook and it dropped onto the porch (see image 2). the drop ejected some of the sunflower seeds.

the raccoons then proceeded for several minutes, according to the subsequent images, to roll the feeder around the porch between them, freeing the remaining seeds.

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