©Bert Gildart: In a posting of several weeks ago I detailed our problem with raccoons, stating that I would not shoot the annoying creatures even though they created the potential of wreaking havoc on our bird feeders. Raccoons are actually amazing animals, and I enjoy seeing them, just not at our feeders. They’re part of the natural history that surrounds us so I’ve worked to find a solution.
First I removed the screws that secured the feeder to the stand, and discovered the weight alone was adequate to hold the feeder in place, even against a strong gust of wind. Most significantly, I’ve been removing the feeder each night and placing it inside. Takes about two minutes, but what happened after that?
First night the raccoons returned, but realizing there was nothing to eat, soon left, and didn’t return. Thinking they might have moved on to a new locale, I decided to experiment and leave the feeders up. Prudently, however, I stayed up to see what would happen, and apparently they were still in the neighborhood. Just as darkness settle in, somehow the raccoons knew the feeders were back up for they returned. To me, the seed seems odorless, but I guess that’s not the case, for there they were. And now they had become even bolder!
Opening the door, I stomped my feet and rattled pots and pans, prompting the two carnivores to casually, almost nonchalantly, claw up the tree to a branch about 10 feet overhead. With looks of complete indifference, they scrutinized me as I removed the feeders. I then shut the sliding glass door and watched to see what would happen this time. Within minutes they returned to the site of the feeders, but then realizing their food source was gone, they slowly clawed back down the large Douglass fir tree that stands adjacent to our porch.
As well as luring nocturnal visitor, during the day our feeders attract dozens of song birds, and several different species of woodpeckers. I’m always amazed at how the word seems to get around. In years past, our feeders have attracted over 30 different species of birds, and their antics always provides us with immense pleasure. I also like knowing that out there somewhere, we’ve still got raccoons.
THIS TIME TWO YEARS AGO:
BOOKS YOU SHOULD HAVE TO UNDERSTAND MONTANA, GLACIER AND SHENANDOAH:
4th ed. Autographed by the Authors
Hiking Shenandoah National Park
Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.
Big Sky Country is beautiful
Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State
Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.
$16.95 + Autographed Copy
What makes Glacier, Glacier?
Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent
Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons
$16.95 + Autographed Copy