It’s more often than not, and applies universally to all creatures (including smarty-pants humans). The path of least resistance will be option #1. Yes, there’s even a fun garden plaque stating such!
When feeding backyard birds and/or squirrels, you’re bound to attract a few less desirable furry friends. The masked marvels (raccoons) are hands-down the most destructive of all. Likely due to their curious nature and smarts- they can manage to disrupt bird feeders, tall bird baths, even hummingbird feeders that hang within reach!
Although hummingbird nectar or sugar water has no scent- it’s the shiny hanging thing that piques curiosity. Once the sweet sticky treat is discovered… they’ll be back for more the next evening. Upon seeing your empty feeder which was just filled the day prior, you may be wondering who ate all that food so fast?
Much the same as when you discover the top of your tall bird bath broken on the ground 🙁
To prevent this from happening again, the birdbath is an easy fix since the critters are simply looking for water.
Place a plant saucer on the ground for wildlife and keep it full of fresh water. It just goes back to that path of least resistance! If they don’t have to climb… why bother?
On our deck at home in Atlanta, mom and babies each took turns playing in this bubbling fountain. Luckily it’s on the ground and fairly indestructible! But the glass hummingbird feeders hanging from the deck… not so much!
Having extra feeders out for busy fall migration (five on the back deck alone), the critters were caught red-handed and in the nick of time! We simply moved one feeder to a garden pole with empty bracket, hung one feeder from the hummingbird swing and bought one feeder inside for the night. A little confusing for the tiny sprites in early morning hours… but now they have the routine down pat! Silly person moves our food back to deck for daytime.
As for the broken bath? Place a shallow pan of water on the ground right next to it, or use a tall bird bath that won’t break! These beauties are ideal for year-round use, accepting a heater in winter and large enough for a fountain or water wiggler in summer.
Lastly, should raccoons or squirrels be destroying your seed feeders… use a baffle! For those who insist baffles don’t work? Wrong- they’re just not installed correctly. feeder placement is most important, here’s another post with more detail on baffles.
You can feed birds without the headache or intrusion of other wildlife by using baffles, placing feeders correctly and offering fresh water at ground level 🙂