can raccoons climb bird feeders

Raccoons Will Eat Almost Anything—Including Your Bird Seed

Raccoons are omnivores—mammals that eat meat and vegetation. Put simply, they’ll consume anything they can lay their hands on, including fruits, plants, and insects. Regretfully, they will consume the seeds from your bird feeders as well. All of us have heard or seen reports of raccoons being seen dumpster diving. What’s to stop a raccoon from coming into your dimly lit yard and taking advantage of bird feeders full of peanuts, sunflower seeds, and nyjer?

Any of these suggestions can help prevent these bothersome animals from dipping into your seeds, even though no technique is infallible.

5. Clear the Ground Mess

If you’ve ever dealt with rats or mice in your backyard, you are aware that occasionally, dropped seed can attract rodents to your feeders and cause problems. Sunflower seed hulls and fallen seeds draw more visitors to your backyard than just birds. You stand a better chance of keeping raccoons out of your yard and feeders if these are not in the ground. You can use seed catching trays underneath your feeders, but spills are always possible.

Switching to a no-mess bird seed mix is your best option. Birds visiting your feeders won’t have to pick through the seed, which causes seed to fall to the ground, because the shells have already been removed from the seeds. Using a no-mess mix also increases the amount of seed consumed. Ground feeders typically consume any remaining debris before dusk falls.

Group of Racoons / Shutterstock

2. Move Your Feeders

You carefully considered where to put your bird feeders. As a general guideline for bird safety, you most likely put at least one or two close to trees for easy access. When a predator surprises a bird while it is feeding, it can flee to the trees. But you’ll have to reconsider where you put your feeders if these tree-climbing criminals are taking advantage of them. Take those feeders off of decks, under trees, and away from your home. These areas give raccoons the chance to hop onto your bird feeders. To make it more difficult for raccoons to access these feeders, you might want to mount them atop wooden poles or hang them from plant hangers in an open area.


How do I keep raccoons from climbing my bird feeder?

Adding a steel raccoon baffle to your feeder pole is the most effective way to stop raccoons. Squirrel baffles won’t do the job. Raccoon baffles are much larger, a full 10″ in diameter and about 2 feet tall, preventing the crafty critters from reaching over or “hugging” their way over it.

Will raccoons get into bird feeders?

Raccoons Will Eat Almost Anything—Including Your Bird Seed Unfortunately, they will also eat the seeds from your bird feeders.

Can a raccoon climb a shepherd’s hook?

A shepherd’s hook may be the easiest but is the most difficult to make squirrel/raccoon proof. Usually the pole is too short, or the hook is too close to the pole, allowing squirrels to hold on to the pole with their hind feet and rake out seed with their front feet even on a supposedly squirrel proof feeder.

Will cayenne pepper keep raccoons away from bird feeders?

Raccoons One of the best ways to keep these rascals away from bird feeders is to sprinkle cayenne pepper in your bird seed and on the ground around your feeder. (This works on garbage cans, too!) The spice is simply too strong for raccoons to consume and they stay away. Birds, however, don’t mind cayenne at all.