Creatures In The Night

Don’t be discouraged from feeding the birds just because you have encountered night time wildlife taking over your feeders in the moonlight. I also have had my share of night time creatures such as opossum, raccoons, skunks, and yes, rats, just to name a few.

It is very heartbreaking and frustrating to go out to your feeders early in the morning only to find a wild party had ensued while you were sleeping. Not only have all the seeds been eaten but your feeders are semi-destroyed and knocked to the ground. Your first instinct is to give up feeding the birds and try to stifle the joyous feeling you get from filling the feeders and watching your backyard birds.

But don’t give in to the creatures in the night, you just have to outsmart them. To do this, I store my feeders every night in a large plastic tub with a locking lid away from the normal feeding area. I wait until dusk when I have heard the last chirping sound of the cardinal telling me he has had his evening snack. I then take all my feeders down from their hangers and store them away. Be careful not to spill the seeds in the process of removing the feeders or the creatures in the night will most certainly thank you for an easy to find feast.

I also came up with another way to keep the seeds from being scattered on the ground during daytime hours. I placed a large size plastic kiddie swimming pool, without water of course, directly under my hanging feeders and placed the ground feeding station inside the pool. The ground feeding birds and the squirrels love this idea because they can eat from the ground inside the protection of the pool. I also hang my platform feeders on an extra hook making the height lower so the seed will fall inside the pool.

In the evening after I have removed the feeders, I dump any dropped seeds from the pool into a bag for later use and turn the pool upside down. This method has worked wonderfully for me in keeping all night time creatures from visiting my backyard. I have seen a stray fellow wandering across the yard once or twice trying to figure out what happened to his bedtime snack but he didn’t stay long and has not returned.

The key to enjoying your daily birdwatching is to take a little extra effort by removing the feeders nightly and keeping the ground clean under and around the feeding stations.

Happy birdwatching, my friends.

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