Hummer Feeder Mystery

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Drained dry!  No bee guards!

We had a recent theft in Maine.  I awoke to find that some creature had raided the hummer feeders, draining them and removing every bee guard.  Nothing like this has ever happened during our 38 years of feeding the hummingbirds at this location.  The typical scenario is that we arrive and one of my first tasks is to fill the feeders and put them out.  The hummers (who must see the car) arrive within 20 minutes of my putting out the feeders and the feeders are in constant use for the duration of our stay.

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Damaged bee guards

I noticed the drained feeders and missing bee guards quite soon after I woke up at 4:30 a.m. so I think it was a night time marauder but it is possible that the damage happened just as it got light.  We managed to find six of the eight bee guards, two of which had tooth marks.  The culprit also bit holes in a bag of fertilizer I had left on the deck and the teeth marks were an inch apart, probably ruling out the one I thought to be the likely perpetrator; a red squirrel. I suppose it could be a fisher, porcupine or  raccoon with a sweet tooth, but all of those are quite large and getting to the feeders might be difficult without waking us up.  I refilled them and put them out (I have extra bee guards) and I took them in at night.  Maybe I’ll get a game camera and set it up. We’ll see what happens next time we are in Maine.  Grrrr!

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Patricia (Tricia) Reid said,

    Chipmunks? This year I have chipmunks raiding all my feeders, totally fearless – they’ll even run over my legs when I’m sitting outside and I’ve seen them hanging on my hummingbird feeders.

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    • 2

      I think it’s bigger than a chipmunk as the puncture holes from the fertilizer bag were an inch apart and I think bears would have done much more damage. I was unhappy to have to leave the feeders down while we are away as I usually top them off and give the hummers another 3 days or so while we’re gone, but I don’t want to have this happen again. Perhaps whatever it was will give up by the time we go back up to Maine.

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