How to Keep Raccoons Out of Bird Feeders: 4 Ways

Calling birds to your home with a bird feeder can create a calming, cheerful ambiance that is practically unmatched, but bird feeders can also attract unwelcome visitors, particularly raccoons.

Raccoons can be cute. They’re clever and determined little critters, and their sweet little masked faces and almost human-like tiny front paws make them simply irresistible. But, despite that, we really should resist them. They can be mean, destructive, and cause significant property damage by chewing electrical wiring and tearing up insulation.

They’re drawn to bird feeders because, as omnivores, the medley of seeds and nuts is tempting.

Overall, these are not the kind of animals you want to be attracting with a bird feeder. Thankfully, there are a few ways to keep raccoons out of your yard and away from your bird feeders so your garden remains a sanctuary for all of the aviary animals you love.

Choose the Right Bird Feeder

Raccoons are known for being nature’s acrobats. They are excellent climbers and problem solvers, which makes hiding a bird feeder from them pretty difficult. You want a bird feeder that makes the food easily accessible for birds but difficult or unappealing for raccoons. Some feeders have weight-activated perches that close when heavy animals try to access them but stay open for lighter animals like birds.

Raccoons can’t typically chew through metal, so tube feeders with metal caps and bases or caged feeders are good options, too. And you can always add a raccoon baffle onto your bird feeder. It’s a cone-shaped object that you put on the polls of your bird feeder that stops the pests from climbing to the feeder.

Place the Feeder Correctly

As we know, raccoons are sneaky. Because of this, you’ll have to be extra careful while finding the proper placement for your feeder. Make sure it’s high off of the ground and away from any surfaces raccoons can climb, like trees, fences, posts, or decks, so the pests can’t climb onto the feeder or jump onto it from another spot in your yard.

Clean Up the Bird Seed

Raccoons will be attracted to any source of food, so when birds knock seeds down to the ground, make sure you clean them up. You could use a seed tray to catch spills, but you’ll want to empty that regularly, too. Don’t overfill feeders because that’s likely to spill, too. 

Install a Motion-Activated Light

Since raccoons are nocturnal animals, a motion-activated light could help discourage their evening visits. They also don’t love a sprinkler, so motion-activated sprinklers could keep them at bay too.

Don’t let the fear of raccoons stop you from the joy of a bird feeder—take the necessary steps to keep them separate. 

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