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Who mangled my bird feeder?

suet,bird,feeder,destroy,bear. Image ©GardenPhotos.com (all rights reserved)
Got up the other morning, looked out of the kitchen window – no suet feeder.

Went out and had a look round and found it out in the snow, in two parts, twisted and mangled with the wire cage torn apart and the spring stretched right out. You need a lot of strength to do that sort of damage. So which nocturnal prowler was it?

The obvious answer would be a black bear – but not in the middle of winter, they’re all hibernating. It’s been down to -23C/-10F and by the time the damage was done they should have been tucked up cozily for months. A raccoon would not be strong enough…



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I had the exact same feeder suffer the exact same fate last winter; my conclusion was a raccoon going after the suet. We don't have any bears in my area (north of Boston).

Graham Rice

I just couldn't believe that a raccoon would be that strong - the wire cage is torn apart and the wire actually broken.


I'm not sure but do you have those mountain lions? I've seen them on the t.v. and they can bend metal, or will a wild wolf do the damage?

Sandy Parrill

Don't underestimate a raccoon. One completely tore apart a metal suet feeder in my yard, bent and broken when it got done. They are amazingly strong. How do I know it was a racoon? Tracks all over the snow on the deck where it climbed up on the railiing to get it.

Christi ~ Sweetpea Path

Chiming in from western WA state where we have no bears. I had an identical occurrence with my metal suet feeder and it was ABSOLUTELY the raccoon marauders...they made a ton of noise and I watched them by flashlight as they fought over it and then dragged it into the woods!

Graham Rice

Well, thanks everyone - it certainly looks as if I've underestimated the strength of the raccoon. There were prints in the snow but they'd been so scuffed up by the bluejays strutting about it was hard to identify their owner. What we need is a motion-sensitive shutter release for the camera... then we could just leave it set up all night and check the results in the morning

In the meantime, here are some images of raccoons "investigating" bird feeders - http://url.ie/92lh

Graham Rice

ON THE OTHER HAND!!! There we were, about 7 this evening, watching (the superb) Boardwalk Empire on TV - and we hear a noise out on the deck. I rush out to look, judy rushes to get the camera. I look outside - and I see a bear cub. I go out on the raised deck and look down and in fact there seem to be two bear cubs crashing about down there in the rhododendrons, one year olds. Too much rushing about for a picture - and then they were gone into the night.

It's February... It's been ferociously cold... They should be hibernating... It makes me want to leave those suet blocks (that go in the bird feeder) out there on the snow for them to eat.

So perhaps it wasn't raccoons mangling the bird feeder after all...

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