My wife and I have noticed the last birds to our seed feeders are typically cardinals. Long after the chipping sparrows, tufted titmice, Carolina chickadees and house finches have gone to roost male northern cardinals seem to glow in the fading light of the day. Once the cardinals finally call it quits for the day, as much as we probably don’t like to think about it, a number of unwanted guests are apt to visit our feeders under the cloak of darkness.
To some extent, which animals will visit our feeders depends on where you live in the Peach State. For example, if you reside in North Georgia or a handful of other locations scattered around the rest of the state where black bears make their home, during the warmer months of the year you might have a visit from a black bear.
For the rest of us, our feeders are more likely to be visited by rodents, raccoons, opossums, and white-tailed deer. Believe it or not, coyotes and foxes are also known to frequent feeders at night. In most cases, these animals are attracted to seeds that have been flipped out of feeders or scattered on the ground. That being the case, one of the best ways to discourage nocturnal visits by these furry critters is to clean up any seed left on the ground. This task can be made less daunting by putting out only as much seed as your think the birds will eat during the day.
Deer can often be thwarted by not feeding inexpensive seed mixtures that often contain corn. Corn is a favorite deer food.
If marauding bears are a problem, you will have to take your feeders down before sunset. If you don’t, you stand the very real chance of having feeders destroyed our hauled off into the woods.
Should you want to get some idea what is actually visiting your bird feeding area at night, install a motion-activated trail camera aimed at your feeders. If you do, you may be amazed at what is going bump in the night just outside your backdoor.