Or should I say, big buggers?
The raccoons have been at the bird feeders again.
I found the big feeder on the ground again, the screws yet again ripped right out of the base. This, even after adding newer, stronger wood to the bottom, and using more and longer screws!
Then I found the other feeder.
Well, parts of it, anyhow.
Thankfully, this feeder is actually designed to come apart, so this is not broken. Just in pieces.
But one piece was missing! The part with the cable it hangs from.
I finally found it, some distance away, under a lilac bush.
The parts and pieces were all wet and splashed with mud and dirt, so it got a cleaning and is now sitting to dry before I refill it and hang it back up.
Then I turned my attention to the big feeder.
Part of the problem with it is how much it wobbles on the top of the post. I’d added foam covered wire, wrapped around the top of the post, to reduce the wobbling. This reduced the wobble, but it was still there. The raccoons are rather large, weighty critters, so if they’re climbing the post to get onto the bird feeder, they would be causing it to tip quite a bit. That is likely what is putting so much stress on the screws and the wood. Of the six screws holding the base, which had slid to the bottom of the post again, to the underside of the feeder, pieces of wood were still stuck to a couple of them, while one of the screws was gone completely. I found half of it in the ground. It had snapped right off!
So along with putting the base back on using even longer screws, which are now long enough to be going right through the added wood and into the bottom of the feeder itself, I had to do something about that wobble. Something that wouldn’t slide out of position, thicker and with less give than what I used before.
I found a solution.
I use twine, and some of my husband’s navy rope work that he taught me, years ago, that secures the ends in a way that they cannot come loose and unravel.
It took wrapping three layers of twine to get the thickness needed. The base is now solid on the post, with no wiggle, and I can still slide it on and off the post as needed.
This, together with the even longer screws, should prevent the base from being torn off the feeder again.
Of course, that leaves us with the problem of the raccoons getting into the feeders in the first place.
That will require a bit more thinking.