Crafty Little Critters


Posted by Annie in Outdoors on September 17, 2009

Those of you who have been following my posts will recall my mentioning the purchase of new metal cans with locking lids, last fall, to prevent access by area wildlife. These cans have worked wonderful until…

Yesterday, we stopped at the Sonora Feed Store and purchased some wild bird seed and some black oil sunflower seeds for the birds, and to be honest, just as often the squirrels eat it too.



Later, while shopping at the Twain Harte Market, I noticed they had unsalted peanuts on sale. Well, the Stellar Jays simply love peanuts (and Almonds), so I purchased a couple bags, which I dole out to them a few handfuls at a time.

When we arrived home, we took the time to empty the bird seed into the metal cans, along with the peanuts and the corn cobs we still had on hand. My son and I filled up the bird feeders, secured the lids on the cans, making sure they were locked. But we made one fatal mistake, we left the cans sitting on top of the table, instead of under the tables as usual.

This morning, I opened the door to the deck as usual, only to find a huge mess. Why I didn’t take pictures I’ll never know — but the funniest thing was, I actually thought the Stellar Jays made the mess. My husband was quick to point out that the birds could not have opened those cans and I piped up and said, “Sure they can, they can just push those handled down with their bodies.”

The problem is, there is no way they could possible have pried the tops off. I feel like an idiot even thinking about it now. There were peanut shells everywhere – the tables were both covered, the carpet was covered; the raccoons must have had a field day last night. They barely touched the bird seed.

Dead Raccoon

Dead Raccoon

So much for my wildlife-proof metal cans.

We finally got the mess mostly cleaned up. I went to the store and picked up a few more bags of peanuts but this time, I’m leaving them in the house. So far those crafty little raccoons haven’t figured out how to unlock our doors — yet.  We always have to stay one step ahead of nature and it’s not always easy.

I admit I felt kind of bad, when we found this poor little raccoon, dead in the middle of the road that very morning. I won’t deny the little critters drive me nuts, but I’d never wish one dead and certainly not a death like this one.

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