Notes From The Bird House – UCC

Back around the beginning of winter 2010, I discovered I had a mystery on my hands. It seemed every time I would put out the feeders they would be completely emptied by morning. The suet container would also be completely empty. This being my first year to feed the birds, I was at a loss at what was going on. At first, I thought it was a bear. Then I decided it was some thing much smaller. My feeders were in disarray not destroyed. A bear would have taken them out. Plus the suet feeder looked as if it were gently opened and emptied. A bear would have taken the whole thing, (dainty, bears are not). I would have to keep an eye opened for this UCC (unidentified crawling critter).

The next night I had built the fire a little too big so I cracked the window. It was not long before my dogs started raising cane. I got up, turned on the light and looked on the porch. At first, I did not see anything but scattered seed from here to there. I kept my seed in a huge 5 gallon bucket with a tricky child proof lid. I thought it has to be a bear! It takes all I have to get that top open and I have thumbs!. Then out of the corner of my eye, I noticed something about the size of a small dog disappear around the corner of the house.

A trap was set up the next night with suet as the bait. I still did not know for sure what it was but the trap I had would surely do the job. The next morning the bait was gone but no critter. The same thing would happen night after night. WHY? WHY? This has never failed before. A few nights later my dogs are going at it again. You would have thought big foot himself was on the porch. I quickly flipped on the light. I was totally taken back by the scene that was unfolding right in front of me. Let me paint a picture for you.

RACCOONS all over the place! Over on the wicker couch was the big Kahuna laid back and relaxed belly full and poking out. I swear, I could have easily seen a cigar in his mouth and him giving directions in his best godfather voice… that is if I had had a few glasses of wine. Over on the coffee table was another one watching with anticipation rubbing his little hands together fast at first then slowly. He looked as if he were from the movie Frankenstein. You know, Igor the doctor’s assistant. Add another glass of wine and I could have easily seen him mouthing “yes masters, you can do it” And on the rail was the largest of them all, the bruiser, the blockhead, the lookout. His head was darting back and forth so fast you would have thought he was watching a tennis match. Apparently, he took his job seriously. On top of the cage was a rather hefty raccoon holding up the plate which held the bait in place so not to trip the trap. Inside was a little toot grabbing the goods. He was not at all above taste testing the fruits of his labor. His face and hands were covered in suet. His hands were so greasy that he couldn’t hold the package long enough to get it out. It was one of the strangest sights I have ever seen.

At first, the light caught them so off guard that they did not even think to skedaddle. Soon my dogs caught wind of the raccoons and tried to fly through the windows at them. The coons quickly decided to abandon their mission. Blockhead was scrambling on the rail as if to shout ABORT! ABORT! run you fools. Igor…GONE without a trace. Godfather Kahuna, turned to the window and with a grunt got up and walked away with nary a look back. The two at the trap were the funniest of all. Toot’s hands were so greasy that he could not easily turn himself around in the cage to run. Hefty was still holding the plate. He could have let go but his buddy Toot would have been trapped. My dogs were giving him heck. After what seemed a few minutes, Hefty looked at us and I promise he had the strangest smile on his face. It was a little apologetic, a little scared, and a lot of please don’t kill me. Moments later, Toot made it out and they had made it off the porch and around the corner. Blockhead was the last to leave. He appeared to be guarding the rear. Then without looking back he jumped off the rail back feet first. It reminded me of jumping out of a plane and then he was gone.

Now a days, I do not have that problem. We sell these rail plant holders that are arched. They hang out so far that the critters can’t get to them. Problem solved. If you are experiencing a similar problem come on in and I will fix you up with one of these hooks. They really work.

Until next week,
Ruth Lane
Store Manager

One Comment

  1. Comment by AL Collins:

    We had a funny experience with raccoons in Ruidoso, we were on the look out for bears one night and my husband came to the door and nodded down to the end of the porch. I’m thinking a bear. He just stood there and didn’t say a word so I looked out the door and saw two raccoons peeking around the corner of the house. The house had a wrap around porch so I went inside and turned on the back light, then I went out the front and followed the raccoons around the porch. There was a large one, maybe the mom, a medium sized one, and 5 small ones. We figured they may be hungry so we tossed cereal, bread, stuff we thought they would eat. They did eat. Then I’m thinking raccoons love water, so I found a very large bowl, filled it and slowly proceeded down the steps to the raccoon. It raised up on it’s haunches like a dog begging. I walked up to it and sat the bowl down in front of it. I then backed off. The raccoon tested it and immediately began to drink. The medium sized one joined in too but the littles ones kept their distance. They were so cute. We watched them for quite awhile and our grandson thought it was the neatest thing he’d ever seen.