Morning Surprises!

2018_04_19__back yard birding_0004

2018_04_19__back yard birding_0004-2

You can see from the pictures above that “someone” flipped open the hopper feeder, helped him or herself to all the birdseed inside, and left behind a puzzled and confused squirrel. The first time this happened, I was surprised, but now it happens almost daily. I’m actually surprised when it doesn’t happen. If I looked out the kitchen window in the morning to see birds feasting on the seed I had poured into the feeder yesterday afternoon, that would be the surprise.  At first, I blamed the deer herd that makes nightly excursions up the hill from Chagrin River Park. I assumed they were the four legged marauders that had raided the Back Yard Buffet, but I’ve changed my mind about the likely culprits. It must be raccoons! Our thief can even twist open the plastic twist-ties that I use to secure the latch of the suet feeder. What other animal has the dexterity to lift the awkward, heavy lid of the hopper feeder and untwist the plastic ties and carry off the suet? What really surprised me this morning was seeing the squirrel standing inside the feeder. I know he’s not the thief because he and other members of his clan feast at the buffet all day long. They aren’t out and about after dark, and this morning he seemed to be perplexed that all the food was gone. He’s not happy and neither am I. I’m fighting a losing battle. The birds (and squirrels) are the real losers…and my bird-feeding budget of course!

The second surprise that appeared in the back yard buffet this morning was a welcome one. Flickers are rare visitors. I see them in the park occasionally but never right outside the kitchen window. This one found his (or her) breakfast on the ground underneath the hopper feeder, and was a very happy bird.  I was happy too because I thoroughly enjoyed the unexpected photoshoot! (Click on any picture to enlarge them.)

Thanks for stopping by the back yard buffet this morning.
See you soon!

~Trail Walker

15 thoughts on “Morning Surprises!

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  1. Actually, I am the one raiding your feeder to fill mine. When I cannot sleep, I grab my little flashlight and cross the backyards. Have to be careful not to trip over a sleeping deer or wandering coyote. Thanks for the help. Anonymous neighbor

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  2. This is the cutest post Carolyn. I love the look on the squirrel’s face as he rests his paws on the feeder waiting for you, his benefactor, to load in some more seeds. Though the critters, furry and feathered, will eat you out of house and home, they do provide a smile. My friend in New York feeds and shelters several feral cats. Many times she has looked out onto her deck and found the raccoon with the little dish in his human-like paws, licking the dish of cat food clean.

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      1. Yes they do and sometimes they will melt your heart with their antics. At the Park, nuzzling my shoe to let me know they are there, especially Parker, kind of like saying hint-hint … time for goodies.

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  3. Good luck! Raccoons are clever creatures and, of course, just want a meal. However, I know how expensive bird seed is, so my sympathies are with you. Is there is any way you could bring the feeders in at night? A pain, I know, but it might help.

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  4. The squirrel seems to be saying, “Hey, lady! The buffet is empty, how about a refill?”
    Sounds like if raccoons are raiding, it might be time to quit feeding until they move on to greener pastures.

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    1. I did quit feeding for about six weeks in March and early April. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to have moved on. ☹️ With warmer weather arriving (we hope), I’m ready to give the feeders a good cleaning and fill them up again.

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