Woman stunned to find out identity of bird feeder thief


A conservationist got a little more than she bargained for after deciding to investigate why her bird feeders were so depleted each night.

While squirrels are often seen as the primary beneficiaries of bird feeders, photographer and writer Danae Wolfe had an entirely different experience.

A conservationist who runs the Chasing Bugs website, Wolfe said Newsweek she originally installed a Netvue Birdfy Feeder camera to capture some of the incredible species that frequent her garden, which is Backyard Wildlife Habitat certified.

It is not uncommon for other animals to steal what is a readily available and easily accessible food source. Squirrels, for example, have been found to take large amounts from bird feeders in the past. This was recently highlighted in a 2018 UK study published in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning which saw cameras installed to monitor bird feeders in an average suburban area.

Incredibly, of the 33,000 recorded visits to bird feeders, 44% were attributed to gray squirrels, which tended to eat more than the birds during their travels.

The initiative, which was created by the National Wildlife Federation in 1973, aimed to encourage homeowners to maintain healthy and diverse animal habitats within a well-maintained ecosystem.

“I am a conservation educator and wanted to start keeping a formal record of the wildlife visitors we saw in and around our home and thought this would provide the perfect opportunity to help us with this endeavor” , explained Wolfe. She said that until then they had “blamed the squirrels” for stealing the bird feeders, which were depleted every night.

However, when she saw the security camera footage again, she couldn’t believe what she saw. “I was shocked to find we had deer, flying squirrels, skunks and a few cheeky raccoons enjoying the birdseed buffet,” she said.

Eager to share her findings, Wolfe took to TikTok with a video that included a photo of a thieving raccoon literally caught trying to scavenge seeds.

It was a development that she said left her stunned.

“Although we have seen raccoons a few times in the nearly seven years we have lived in our home, we were unaware that they were visiting us at night to deplete our bird feeders,” he said. she declared. “It’s a bit of a shock.”

Wolfe isn’t the only one left baffled by what she saw in the clip, with many of her social media followers echoing those sentiments.

“Nothing could have prepared me for this,” wrote one viewer, with another reacting with a simple, “OMG.” Elsewhere, a follower claimed “it scared me” in response to the footage while a fourth saw the funny side, commenting: “I’m crying, can’t stop laughing.”

As of this writing, the video has been viewed 8.5 million times.

Wolfe, for her part, is stunned by the clip’s success, but is definitely looking at the positives and seems eager to use what she learned from the video to better serve the animals in her garden.

“We are very happy to know that our yard supports a diversity of wildlife,” she said. “We are also looking for ways to ensure that we support our wildlife friends with natural foods by planting many native plants and managing our garden with nature in mind!”

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A bird feeder and a raccoon – a security camera captured footage of the animal stealing food from the birds.
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