Raccoons are primarily nocturnal but are active in daylight if there is an abundance of food easily available. Their diet is diverse-nuts, grains, berries, small rodents, insects, worms and pet food, etc. They are highly intelligent, curious mammals with amazing dexterity in their front paws. Because the paws are like hands, raccoons can open garbage cans, latches and even doors. They can remove bird feeders from shepherd’s hooks if they are not secured, damaging and/or emptying them.
To protect your feeders, hang them away from branches or structures that raccoons can access. If they are hanging from a pole system, adding a carabineer that is also fastened with a zip tie will prevent raccoons from dropping feeders to the ground.
Nesting boxes should also be protected. If openings are too large, it is advised to add strong wire mesh that will allow birds access yet will be too tight for a raccoon to steal eggs or hatchlings. Raccoon baffles which can be added to a pole system are also recommended. If your unwanted guests still don’t take the hint, feeders and seed should be brought in at night.