Our suspect already wears a mask

Our suspect already wears a mask

Once again, our birdfeeder has disappeared. My Taller Half found the top for the feeder, but the larger bottom part of the feeder is nowhere to be found.

The thief cannot be a bird, at least we don’t think so. The birds that visit us are small in size and not capable of flying off with a half-filled heavy metal feeder. Obviously, our winged diners are not the culprits. We suspect the thief is either a squirrel or a raccoon. Because there is no sign of either of those critters, we can’t know for sure who is making off with our feeder.

Several months ago we found that feeder lying on the ground under its hanger completely empty. We suspect that whomever emptied the thing left it for us to refill. We did refill it, and it remained safe on its hanger for months.

I have asked several neighbors if they have had their birdfeeders trashed or stolen. So far, no one has had such a problem. We live on the edge of some woods, which are the preferred habitat for such wild life as raccoons, squirrels, deer and even coyotes. We doubt a deer or coyote or even a squirrel is able to carry off our feeder. So our main suspect is a raccoon.

Unfortunately, raccoons can get rather large, and they have sharp teeth and prefer to roam about in the dark. As a deterrent, Taller Half installed motion-sensitive lights that respond to any movement around our place. However, if those lights flash on late at night, they only help the feeder thieves find their targets. We are sound asleep, as are our dogs, so none of us sees or hears anything.

What to do? Perhaps we should just buy a new feeder, a big heavy one, and attach it securely to a post. It might be wise to scatter some dry corn cobs around to distract the feeder thief — that way no one goes hungry and no one gets scared. Worth a try.