July 18, 2024

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The Bird Feeder Coon-undrum

As much as we love feeding the birds last summer we had to put our feeders away,  just way too many raccoons raiding them every night and in the early morning hours. Raccoons just don’t eat a little seed and slink away they eat ALL the seed and slink away. Any of you that feed birds know what an expense it is to buy bird seed, it isn’t cheap!! Last fall we fell back, regrouped, whipped up a couple new feeders and formed a plan. We were going to raccoon proof our bird feeders once and for all.  I took one of the 4×4’s I had lying around and wrapped it in aluminum figuring the coons and squirrels wouldn’t be able to climb the smooth metal sides.IMG_0948 It worked like a charm, all winter long  squirrel after squirrel tried the scale the slippery post and gave up after one or two attempts. 


Things were looking up. It wasn’t until late, late winter that the coons started to stir and we would see them scavenging the seed that the birds knocked out onto the ground.  No big deal there, I certainly didn’t mind them picking at the scraps.  Our confidence was indeed high that we had the problem licked. Funny thing about confidence though, it shatters easily. One morning a couple weeks back I was watching with delight as one big coon was cleaning up what little seed was on the ground. He looked at the post, looked up at the feeder and then to my amazement crouched as low as he could and sprang up about 2 foot high, bear hugging the slippery 4×4. He shimmied up a little, slid back a little, shimmied up a little, until he got high enough to get a grasp onto the feeder with one of his dexterous paws. If I had had a text bubble over my head it would have read “you S.O.B.!!”

Back to the drawing board I went. I came up with a quick fix. I drove #16 galvanized nails into the post and with my grinder cut the heads off and sharpened the shanks. I bent the nail downward to make sure they weren’t used as steps.  I figured it would be a painful lesson but they certainly wouldn’t be getting in the feeders now.  Wrong again, damn these coons are smart! 

It looks like I was going to have to spend some money on another design.IMG_0950  A quick visit to Home Depot and $40 bucks later I had a new plan.  My thinking is that with a narrower pole the coons ability to bear hug and shimmy up it will be greatly reduced.  I picked up a 4 foot length of 3/4 inch iron pipe and drove it in the ground about 2 foot down. I then took a 1″ inch piece of threaded pipe and cut it to 6 foot in length and screwed a metal flange on top of that.

IMG_0953That gave me a nice base to attach the feeder to. I slid the larger 1″ inch pipe over the 3/4 one that I drove into the ground and voila’  I was back in business. 



So far so good, I may just have my bird feeder coon-undrum licked this time.

Wish me luck I’ll probably need it !!