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missmolly
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07/07/2020 06:15AM
I live in Maine and love to feed my birds, but I'm feeding something else. I had a suet feeder hanging from a tree six feet up and something removed that and it's simply gone. So, yesterday, I hung a different kind of suet feeder, a cylinder full of suet balls, from the soffit of my porch. This morning, that feeder is also gone. It was about nine feet off the ground, but just a three feet or so from the railing. The hummingbird feeder beside it is is still there, but empty, and I just filled it yesterday afternoon. Two other bird feeders with seed are still there.
 
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Mo63021
member (16)member
 
07/07/2020 06:57AM
My wife has had a running battle with Raccoons and her Hummingbird feeders for several weeks/months. They will even climb on the deck rail and balance on tippy-toes to pull the bar over to them from where she has it hanging away from the house to drink the water. We also had to chase one away from her BlueBird feeder with mealworms in it as the would jump at it to knock some out, and eat them from the ground!! The only way to help slow them down is to remove these feeders at night, and put them back in the morning for several days. But forget to do so one night and BAM, they are back!!
 
jillpine
distinguished member (490)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/07/2020 07:15AM
"Find another campsite" :)

I no longer feed birds outside of winter months (and spring migration to an extent). The mouse, red squirrel, bear attraction is not tenable for the set-up I have, and I don't have a schedule that allows maintenance of food that can spoil (suet) or attract mold/insects (sugar water) on a regular basis.

 
missmolly
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07/07/2020 07:59AM
jillpine: ""Find another campsite" :)

I no longer feed birds outside of winter months (and spring migration to an extent). The mouse, red squirrel, bear attraction is not tenable for the set-up I have, and I don't have a schedule that allows maintenance of food that can spoil (suet) or attract mold/insects (sugar water) on a regular basis. "

Speaking of red squirrels, I just trapped and relocated my 31st red squirrel on my porch in the last two weeks.

Gosh, I hope I don't have to shut down my feeding operation. I love the woodpeckers and they love the suet.
 
Jaywalker
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07/07/2020 07:59AM
I think my sister had a similar issue here in MN. I seem to recall she determined it was raccoons who were the thieves too. Bears occasionally stop by to raid, but they were typically more destructive, leaving poles bent or cages mangled.

Best advice is to set up a trail camera and know for sure! Even a fairly inexpensive one without bells and whistles will have night vision. Perhaps you could borrow one from some moose hunters who have not started their tracking for fall yet?
 
MReid
distinguished member (223)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/07/2020 08:15AM
Suet feeders (and all bird feeders) are a big attractant for black bears, and they can climb a tree very easily. They commonly leave claw marks and hair on the tree.
 
pswith5
distinguished member(3317)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/07/2020 08:27AM
What if you hung them similarly to how we use to hang our packs? If you use fairly light line ( fishing line?) To discourage squirrels. I will watch for your solution.
 
Savage Voyageur
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07/07/2020 09:06AM
Sounds like a raccoon getting it. Next time hang it higher from a very thin cable and coat with a synthetic lubricant called Super Lube. If they try to steal it by climbing on the cable they will slip off. You put the feeder on a cable hanging from a branch and angle off to a winch to lower or raise the feeder to fill.
 
nofish
distinguished member(2744)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/07/2020 09:40AM
I agree with everyone else. As I was reading the original post my thought immediately went to raccoon. The fact that you don't see it happening is also a good clue since they will raid you at night.

You can keep getting more creative with your set up. It becomes a chess match, you against the critter. Its amazing how often they'll out smart you.

 
BigTim
distinguished member (195)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/07/2020 10:03AM
I made a 42" high coon proof cat feeder box. Hung 12" of flashing down around the base. Used a 4"x4" post. In order for a coon to get up, they'd have to be about 4' long and rather flexible. For days, cat food bowl was emptied overnight. Set up the trail cam - and I observed deer coming for a quick snack. Put a chicken wire fence staggered - and stopped the deer. Few days later, the darn cat bowl was empty again. Set the trail cam up - and I watched 3 coons work together to help the biggest one sort of monkeyy bar from the post over the flashing. Coons will even climb out a 12" iron hanger to get the oriole grape jelly. They are clever and relentless.

 
Pinetree
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07/07/2020 10:09AM
I have had bear grab my feeder like 8 feet up or so. Most people quit feeding around my home in the summer because of bear or hang things super high.
 
missmolly
distinguished member(6814)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/07/2020 11:54AM
Thanks, all, for the feedback. I'm now thinking it's coons, even though I've never seen one in my seven-plus years in Maine and I see lots of critters, like five foxes two days ago and turkeys and porcupines yesterday. I read that coons raid hummingbird feeders, so the empty hummingbird feeder and the absent suet feeder could both be the victims of coons.
 
Pinetree
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07/07/2020 11:57AM
missmolly: "Thanks, all, for the feedback. I'm now thinking it's coons, even though I've never seen one in my seven-plus years in Maine and I see lots of critters, like five foxes two days ago and turkeys and porcupines yesterday. I read that coons raid hummingbird feeders, so the empty hummingbird feeder and the absent suet feeder could both be the victims of coons. "

You have to get a game camera, there so fun to see what goes on in the woods and what runs around your house at night.
 
Chuckles
senior member (85)senior membersenior member
 
07/07/2020 12:05PM
One of the best and most fun ways to keep things away from a feeder is hang it from a long rope away from trees. Tie a knot in the rope and put an old record or similar, tippy round disk on it, well above the feeder.

We used to watch squirrels slide down the rope, hit the record and go flying off at a 45 degree angle. It is quite entertaining. Occasionally they could stop atop the record, but it was too big and tippy for them to get a hold on the rope below. Might need something larger for racoons.
 
missmolly
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07/07/2020 12:23PM
Pinetree: "missmolly: "Thanks, all, for the feedback. I'm now thinking it's coons, even though I've never seen one in my seven-plus years in Maine and I see lots of critters, like five foxes two days ago and turkeys and porcupines yesterday. I read that coons raid hummingbird feeders, so the empty hummingbird feeder and the absent suet feeder could both be the victims of coons. "


You have to get a game camera, there so fun to see what goes on in the woods and what runs around your house at night."


I'm thinking about it, Piney, me ol' pal!
 
jhb8426
distinguished member(1115)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/07/2020 04:13PM
This winter a squirrel managed to get around the baffle and steal my suet holder. Looked all around for it and couldn't find it. Found it a couple of weeks ago in the neighbor's hedge in the back yard. I wire them on to the pole now and also wire them shut.
 
Pinetree
distinguished member(12621)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
07/07/2020 05:46PM
missmolly: "Pinetree: "missmolly: "Thanks, all, for the feedback. I'm now thinking it's coons, even though I've never seen one in my seven-plus years in Maine and I see lots of critters, like five foxes two days ago and turkeys and porcupines yesterday. I read that coons raid hummingbird feeders, so the empty hummingbird feeder and the absent suet feeder could both be the victims of coons. "



You have to get a game camera, there so fun to see what goes on in the woods and what runs around your house at night."



I'm thinking about it, Piney, me ol' pal!"
back at you, Take care
 
Jaywalker
distinguished member(2260)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/07/2020 05:59PM
So now that it’s generally agreed that it’s raccoons, MissMolly, you should consider building one of these - just upsize things a bit for raccoons. Squirrel obstacle course to bird feeder
 
Unas10
distinguished member(1371)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/07/2020 06:17PM
missmolly: "jillpine: ""Find another campsite" :)

I no longer feed birds outside of winter months (and spring migration to an extent). The mouse, red squirrel, bear attraction is not tenable for the set-up I have, and I don't have a schedule that allows maintenance of food that can spoil (suet) or attract mold/insects (sugar water) on a regular basis. "

Speaking of red squirrels, I just trapped and relocated my 31st red squirrel on my porch in the last two weeks.

Gosh, I hope I don't have to shut down my feeding operation. I love the woodpeckers and they love the suet. "


No, you have just relocated the same squirrel 31 times. They are very persistent.
 
07/08/2020 04:24AM
We have a couple very persistent bear around here. They are so hungry they are taking hummingbird feeders. My neighbor had five hanging under her eave. When the bear took them he pulled down some soffit. They started with the suet and then the seed. Here the bear are so hungry they are causing a lot of problems. The raccoon don’t seem to be as bad. But a game cam is the best way to know. Looking for sign is a good way too. Like poop! No mistaking bear poop! But any animal, once they find an easy meal they will keep at it until they find something better.
 
ZaraSp00k
distinguished member(1483)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/08/2020 07:48AM
no suggestion for your problem, but I do thank you for feeding the birds, how these critters survived before people put up bird feeders I do not know, perhaps the Indians fed them?

 
07/08/2020 08:26AM
That happened to my suet feeder in Ely. It was a Fisher the animal not a person like Virgil Ward.
 
missmolly
distinguished member(6814)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/08/2020 09:06AM
ZaraSp00k: "no suggestion for your problem, but I do thank you for feeding the birds, how these critters survived before people put up bird feeders I do not know, perhaps the Indians fed them?


"


Here's some science for you.
 
07/08/2020 09:09AM
Zulu: "That happened to my suet feeder in Ely. It was a Fisher the animal not a person like Virgil Ward."



Not like Al Lindner?
 
Pinetree
distinguished member(12621)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
07/08/2020 09:25AM
missmolly: "ZaraSp00k: "no suggestion for your problem, but I do thank you for feeding the birds, how these critters survived before people put up bird feeders I do not know, perhaps the Indians fed them?



"



Here's some science for you. "


I agree we can help the birds out a little we pretty much destroyed their habitat and chemically thousands of others.
 
missmolly
distinguished member(6814)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/08/2020 10:15AM
Exactly, Mr. Tree. I don't just help the birds. I plant for the bees and the even the big beasts. The black walnuts, serviceberries, butternuts, chestnuts, black cherries, chinkapin oaks, scarlet oaks, and so on that I've planted are all to feed the critters, large and small. Heck, I even planted moosewood for the moose!
 
ZaraSp00k
distinguished member(1483)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/08/2020 10:35AM
missmolly: "


Here's some science for you. "


taxing hiking or bird-watching equipment to support conservation programs, LOL

IMO, all the trees I planted, all the wild raspberry, all the grasses PLUS my shooting feral/stray cats does more to help the birds than all your bird feeders combined.
Save a bird, kill a cat.
 
h20
distinguished member(2964)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/08/2020 10:28PM
as usual zara youre obnoxious.
 
acanoer
member (35)member
 
07/09/2020 05:57AM
nctry: "We have a couple very persistent bear around here. They are so hungry they are taking hummingbird feeders. My neighbor had five hanging under her eave. When the bear took them he pulled down some soffit. They started with the suet and then the seed. Here the bear are so hungry they are causing a lot of problems. The raccoon don’t seem to be as bad. But a game cam is the best way to know. Looking for sign is a good way too. Like poop! No mistaking bear poop! But any animal, once they find an easy meal they will keep at it until they find something better."

Bears are hungry all the time.

They well eat anything that is eatable to them.

Doesn't matter what year.

Put a food source out where bears can get at it they will eat it.
 
scat
distinguished member(867)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/09/2020 11:35AM
A Virgil Ward reference. Wow, I need to throw me a Beetle Spin. Then my not so deadly 40 year old black Jitterbug. First lures I ever bought on the recommendation of VW. Don’t think I have ever caught a single fish on either lure, but they are still in the arsenal. I still believe!

Good luck with your critters missmolly. I’m sure you will be kind and all will be well.

Oh yeah, I have a Hula Popper too. Thanks Virg...
 
Pinetree
distinguished member(12621)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
07/09/2020 11:57AM
scat: "A Virgil Ward reference. Wow, I need to throw me a Beetle Spin. Then my not so deadly 40 year old black Jitterbug. First lures I ever bought on the recommendation of VW. Don’t think I have ever caught a single fish on either lure, but they are still in the arsenal. I still believe!

Good luck with your critters missmolly. I’m sure you will be kind and all will be well.

Oh yeah, I have a Hula Popper too. Thanks Virg..."


Yes I thought man that is dating oneself back a ways. Remember when he came to Brainerd to film back in 1969.
 
missmolly
distinguished member(6814)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/09/2020 12:15PM
scat: "A Virgil Ward reference. Wow, I need to throw me a Beetle Spin. Then my not so deadly 40 year old black Jitterbug. First lures I ever bought on the recommendation of VW. Don’t think I have ever caught a single fish on either lure, but they are still in the arsenal. I still believe!

Good luck with your critters missmolly. I’m sure you will be kind and all will be well.

Oh yeah, I have a Hula Popper too. Thanks Virg..."


I'm up to 33 squirrels caught and relocated. I can now sit on my front porch and count only one or sometimes two instead of a dozen.
 
andym
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07/09/2020 01:39PM
Maybe you should just give in, feed the squirrels, and get to know them like this guy did.
 
missmolly
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07/09/2020 02:21PM
andym: "Maybe you should just give in, feed the squirrels, and get to know them like this guy did."

I love that video!
 
Grandma L
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07/09/2020 04:47PM
I stopped feeding the wood peckers in the summer. All I was doing was feeding the hawk - indirectly. the hawk would swoop in and catch the little chickadees. No feeders - no chicks - no hawks .
 
missmolly
distinguished member(6814)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/09/2020 04:51PM
Grandma L: "I stopped feeding the wood peckers in the summer. All I was doing was feeding the hawk - indirectly. the hawk would swoop in and catch the little chickadees. No feeders - no chicks - no hawks . "

I hear ya. I awoke to feathers in my garden this morning. Again.
 
BWPaddler
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07/09/2020 09:31PM
My dad hangs suet and hummingbird feeders. Coons love the syrup... UNLESS he mixes it with red (cayenne) pepper. Then the hummingbirds (and some woodpeckers) still drink it, but coons don't like it.

NOTE - black pepper made even the birds not like it, but red pepper was fine.

Once the coons got a taste of the pepper, they left it alone and he could skip the pepper for a while until they tried again (or new ones tried). Then out comes the pepper again.

The suet feeder (cage box) hangs on a wire between trees, just 3' from the hummingbird syrup feeder. So far, nothing has managed to get that down, but many many birds (including ones that are 2x the size of the cage) eat from it. Before getting the cage for suet, or if an abundance of bacon was made, dad just smears fat on the bark of a tree and the critters find it.
 
Boppasteveg
senior member (56)senior membersenior member
 
07/11/2020 03:03PM
Yup. I will bet you anything that it's Rocky Raccoon. That's what happened to me and I caught him at it too. The night after the first episode I set the alarm for about 3:00 AM. I went upstairs and flipped on the deck light. There he was. A big fat boy too. Now I bring the feeders in before bed and put them out in the morning,
 
missmolly
distinguished member(6814)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/11/2020 04:31PM
Boppasteveg: "Yup. I will bet you anything that it's Rocky Raccoon. That's what happened to me and I caught him at it too. The night after the first episode I set the alarm for about 3:00 AM. I went upstairs and flipped on the deck light. There he was. A big fat boy too. Now I bring the feeders in before bed and put them out in the morning,"

I keep upgrading my suet security system. I've had squirrels swarming the suet cage all day and they couldn't crack my latest upgrades. Let's see if it survives the night.
 
jillpine
distinguished member (490)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/11/2020 05:24PM
missmolly: "Boppasteveg: "Yup. I will bet you anything that it's Rocky Raccoon. That's what happened to me and I caught him at it too. The night after the first episode I set the alarm for about 3:00 AM. I went upstairs and flipped on the deck light. There he was. A big fat boy too. Now I bring the feeders in before bed and put them out in the morning,"


I keep upgrading my suet security system. I've had squirrels swarming the suet cage all day and they couldn't crack my latest upgrades. Let's see if it survives the night. "


My jack is still with Fat Gus. Bless his/her heart.
 
scat
distinguished member(867)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/11/2020 11:04PM
How are you with chipmunks. Aw, they’re so cute and playful. I’ve heard of squirrels referred to as lawn rats, but never a chipmunk. I think they are running a scam. Some kind of chipmunk conspiracy. Ever notice there is usually more than one. They are planning something. Teaming up, scheming, using their cuteness to infiltrate and eventually destroy lawns, lives and destinies en masse. Like a chipmunk Tet offensive.

You’ve been warned. And nobody should ever wear a squirrel tail hat. That’s just wrong. As far as the sense of style, if nothing else. Ever see anyone sporting a chipmunk tail hat. I rest my case. I once knew a bartender who had a rabbit’s foot dangling off one of her front belt loops, but that’s another story.

Cheers, scat
 
missmolly
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07/12/2020 11:59AM
My suet cage is still on the tree and still locked shut, but something ate all the suet last night. I really do need a camera!
 
scat
distinguished member(867)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/12/2020 07:03PM
Not sure what suet is, I should prob google it before I try to make a smart ass comment, but that’s no fun, but from previous posts you can take bacon grease and smear it on the side of your tree. Not sure how that would play in my hood, I’m afraid I might catch a neighbor licking the bark on my sugar maple. Come to think of it, that combo might be marketable to the in crowd. Sugar maple bacon flavored suet. If the birds don’t like it some of my neighbors might be buyers. Maybe in a jerky. Yummo.
 
Jaywalker
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07/12/2020 07:33PM
missmolly: "My suet cage is still on the tree and still locked shut, but something ate all the suet last night. I really do need a camera! "
I’m at least fairly certain Amazon delivers to Maine. Mystery could be solved in a few days.
 
missmolly
distinguished member(6814)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/12/2020 07:44PM
Jaywalker: "missmolly: "My suet cage is still on the tree and still locked shut, but something ate all the suet last night. I really do need a camera! "
I’m at least fairly certain Amazon delivers to Maine. Mystery could be solved in a few days. "


I solved the mystery. Red squirrels are licking the suet until it's gone.
 
Pinetree
distinguished member(12621)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
07/12/2020 08:03PM
missmolly: "Jaywalker: "missmolly: "My suet cage is still on the tree and still locked shut, but something ate all the suet last night. I really do need a camera! "
I’m at least fairly certain Amazon delivers to Maine. Mystery could be solved in a few days. "



I solved the mystery. Red squirrels are licking the suet until it's gone. "
In Minnesota flying squirrels will visit bird feeders at night,
 
BWPaddler
distinguished member(9225)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/13/2020 07:24PM
That's a lot of licking to get rid of a brick in a night!!

How are they jumping to the cage?

My dad's setup is a wire probably 20+ feet between two trees. Then wire wrapped on that wire to hang 2 hummingbird feeders and a suet cage vertically from that tree-to-tree wire. He distracts the squirrels with their own corn cobs or orange halves elsewhere. I've only ever seen birds at his suet, and like I said, the coons gave up after drinking pepper-laced syrup.

Maybe you can sprinkle red pepper on the suet? Doesn't seem to stop birds, but maybe it will stop your voracious squirrels.
 
Pinetree
distinguished member(12621)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
07/13/2020 07:49PM
Usually red squirrels are not active at night
 
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