Jean continues to update us on visitors to the mystery burrow…..

After watching the deer walk around the tree, and the rabbit run out of the brush pile, it occurred to us that we might have better luck enticing the critter we were after out of its hole and into camera frame if we baited the Cuddback with some food.

Feral cat discovers an easy meal

Since we were hoping for the more elusive carnivores, we put out some cooked meat and raw meat. The carnivores found it, if not the ones we were actually hoping for. A feral tabby cat strolled into view first and seemed delighted to find such an easy spread. Usually, feral cats in the country have a rough time of it, subsisting on mice, birds, chipmunks and the occasional squirrel or rabbit. They can be hard on bird populations, but we don’t lose any sleep over a diminished mouse population. This one won’t have to hunt for a few days, anyway.

The clean-up crew arrives

And then a raccoon strutted in to finish whatever the cat left behind.

My birdseed brings the coons to the yard

After the first night of meat bait, we switched to sunflower seeds. After all, woodchucks aren’t meat eaters, and Jenny and I were out filling the birdfeeders anyway. But the word was out in the raccoon social circles that the trail cam was the place to be, and as the night wore on, the local population came tromping in.

Party at the trail cam

Raccoon are highly adaptive, indiscriminate omnivores; just like us. Unlike us, they tend to be most active in the evening and at night. Before the era of hen houses to be raided and trashcans to be tipped, it was probably a strategy that created far less conflict with us. It still is, because by the time we wake up to defend our territory, the coons can be long gone. Sometimes I see them in the evenings in the trees, or see their droppings on the rocks in the morning. Sunflowers seeds seemed just as popular as the meat. Unfortunately, we still haven’t spotted our excavators, so stay tuned.

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