What’s Up? – WhoDunit?


The past week has been  busy for my lawn and backyard and all surrounding areas of our house. Now we are having more hours of sun and a little warmer day. The grassy lawn was treated with anti-weed chemicals and then later on Friday we had the landscaping crew mow and  edge all areas. It’s looking nicer now, even when the grass is not green yet.

For the past 2 weeks, I’ve heard the clay saucers that I use as feeders, hit the deck floor, when I look through the window I see no movement of further noise. Almost every night, one or two saucers were broken to pieces.  Also, the plastic container with the suet-seeds mix, was found on the floor with most of the content eaten and a real mess  (suet is made with animal fat)

Then I opted to nail the container down.  It worked only partially, the container remained in place but the content was almost gone and the mess got bigger. I installed small brass brackets to fasten the saucers . The saucer’s problem returned with more of them broken. I  bought same size saucers made of plastic and screwed them to the deck’s handrail.  This did the work!

One more thing, I was experimenting of trying peanut butter to see if the woodpeckers might want to stop by and maybe stay for a while. I  already have  Downy Woodpeckers but  they love the suet. So, I placed a clay saucer with lots of peanut butter, I used the brass brackets to hold it fasten. Next day the saucer was  gone, I found it on top of some hedges. Totally clean!

What kind of animal could be causing this problem? The following are my findings to help solve the mystery.

  •   The raids are always after 10:30 pm.
  •   The animal eats seeds of several kinds, suet, peanut butter.
  •   It must have some kind of hands or paws, able to grip and pull objects.
  •   It’s  obvious that loved the peanut butter, the saucer looked as it was licked!

We do not have any raccoons where we live. We have owls in the area, but, I don’t think they are able to lick a saucer or go for seeds having many rodents or reptiles in the woods. The squirrels do not forage at late night, they get more options during the day.

What animal could  be causing this problem?

Week’s Photo Gallery

Eating Lunch With…

Field Sparrow

Field Sparrow

© HJ Ruiz – Avian101

22 thoughts on “What’s Up? – WhoDunit?

  1. You may think you don’t have raccoons, but that was the first thing that came to mind. Some years ago, the Texas Parks & Wildlife guys who maintain a presence on Matagorda Island came back to their house and discovered the screen on the kitchen window had been removed. When they went in, they found a raccoon in the middle of their kitchen table. It had found the peanut butter, taken the lid off the jar, and was proceeding to eat the peanut butter, scooping it out with its paws.

    We heard the story because one of those critters had boarded our boat and eaten all the Pepperridge Farm cookies. I was so irritated.

    I’m betting on a raccoon.

    • When I used to live in New Jersey, almost every night I had to deal with raccoons raiding the garbage containers. But here in Georgia I’ve never seen or heard of any raccoons. Everybody I know, never heard of one in my area. I’ve seen bob cats, groundhogs, snakes, voles, cats, and seen tracks of coyotes but haven’t seen them in person.I’ll figure out the way to solve this whodunit… Tank you Linda. 🙂

  2. When we have a mystery like this, we put the critter cam on the scene and usually get the answer. My first thought was raccoon, but since you don’t have them, that’s out. Nice photos, HJ.

    • Thank you my friend, I’m just hoping it’s a small pterodactyl and get famous! 😉
      Thank you Jet. 🙂

    • Yes, we do but not in this area John. I don’t want them near us. Years ago when I lived in New Jersey, you could see them walking out of the woods sometimes! 🙂

    • I’ve ordered the trail camera already. It’ll be delivered sometime next week. I’m curious myself. Thanks Chris. 🙂

  3. I’m definitely curious to know, HJ! I was thinking a raccoon too. Or maybe one of your squirrels smartened up and knows he has the buffet all to himself after dark and still gets to bed before midnight. 😉

    • It’d be too risky for a squirrel, with all the nocturnal predators looking for food. I just ordered the trail camera to see if I can find out who the culprit is. Then I’ll let everyone know. Thanks Donna. 🙂

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