Last night just before dark I looked out the kitchen window and saw two raccoons on either side of the bird feeder. They were symmetrically up on their haunches with their backs to the house, front paws resting on the seed tray, dining at the all-you-can-eat bird food buffet. They looked to be about the size of our cats, so I'm guessing they were about eleven or twelve pounds, but their fluffy hair and big tails made them appear even bigger.
|Eyes glowing from the camera flash|
Finally they got the message and climbed into the red bud tree next to the deck. That allowed me to get close enough to the feeder to remove it from the hook and bring it into the house. Buffet closed. However, five minutes later when I looked out the window I saw them still walking along the deck rail eating the seed that was on the rail.
This morning I cleaned the feeder, refilled it, and put it back outside. However, first I mixed a healthy splash of hot sauce and a substantial amount of red pepper in with the bird seed. If the raccoons come back and eat more seed, I hope the capsaicin in the red pepper goes straight to their taste buds! And if it keeps the squirrels away, that's good, too.