Do Raccoons Eat Birds

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Raccoons are omnivores and will avail themselves of the opportunity to eat plants and animals. The raccoons tend to go after the easy-to-catch animals like the clams and snails, but do raccoons eat birds?

Yes, raccoons eat birds. Though it is difficult for a Raccoon to reach out for the birds and catch them, they usually attack them at night and make the most of it. That is when birds least expect them to creep up behind them. 

In this article, we will see why raccoons prefer eating birds and what can be done to prevent this. We are also going to look at how bird and their feed can be prevented from raccoon attacks. 

Do Raccoons Eat Other Animals?

Yes, raccoons do eat other animals along with birds. These include the turtles, snakes, rabbits, squirrels, gophers, rats, mice, and squirrels. 

Despite having a range of food options, raccoons still love to topple the garbage cans and search out food particles for eating!

So, if you hear metal clanging at night, expect raccoons behind the deed!

What Do Raccoons Like Eating?

Generally, raccoons are lazy animals and do not want to go hunting unless they have to. They prefer relying on sources like insects, frogs, nuts, seeds, and crayfish. 

In the case of raccoons, availability matters a lot. Whatever is present in abundance, raccoons will leap forwards to get it.

Raccoons use their dexterous paws to pluck morsels out of the small hiding places. 

Is Raccoon A Predator Or Prey?

Raccoons are called ‘Occasional Predators’ of many species of invertebrates, including the reptile eggs, fish, mammals, and even birds. 

However, they will fall prey to other animals like bobcats, foxes, owls, and coyotes.

Raccoons are nocturnal; that means they are primarily active during the night. So, it has the whole night, dusk, and dawn to explore for food. 

Do Raccoons Attack Bird Nests?

Do not let a Raccoon’s innocent face fool you. These small creatures are infamous for raiding the birds’ nests and eating their raw eggs.

The raccoons are nocturnal animals and come out at night to locate a bird’s nest and then attack it.

The birds are often caught off-guard and are subjected to an attack by the raccoon.

Do Raccoons Attack Bird Houses?

Yes, a raccoon will attack bird houses as well. It will sit on the birdhouse roof and will reach inside just to attack the chicks and the nesting birds inside.

Do Raccoons Kill Birds? 

Yes, a Raccoon kills birds, especially the young poultry in the cages and pens. They are prone to raccoon attacks. A raccoon may even injure them by reaching through the wire. 

The raccoons even pull the birds towards the mesh and try chopping off their feet and legs. That is why the little birds are so scared of raccoons. 

Do Raccoons Eat Baby Birds?

It is not necessary that a raccoon will attack big birds only. The small birds are more susceptible to Raccoon attacks. Here are a few reasons why does a raccoon attack birds:

  • Birds are full of nutrients 
  • Birds have a high protein content precisely, and the raccoons need this to survive
  • A raccoon prefers eating an injured bird rather than hunting one down.
  • A Raccoon may even end up eating the birds’ eggs if it does not find anything good to eat.

Do Raccoons Eat Bird Seed?

Yes, raccoons even eat the bird seed that has been left out in the open for the birds to feed on.

Be it fruits, plants, or insects- a raccoon will eat all of it. Unfortunately for the birds, the raccoons do not even spare the seeds inside the bird feeders. 

What Is Eating My Bird Seed At Night?

Many animals feed on the birdseed and that at night too. However, the main culprits are always the raccoons. Raccoons travel miles just to come to residential areas and have bird feed. 

That is why it is advised that you keep your birdseed protected and enclosed in jars at night. The best way is to keep it inside as the birds come out during the day and sleep away at night.

Having bird seed laying open at night is an open invitation for the raccoons. 

How To Keep Raccoons Out Of Your Bird Feeders?

You can keep the raccoons out of the bird feeders in several ways.

Here, a few measures have been enlisted:

  • The birdfeeders should be refilled daily, and at night the remaining should be emptied. This way the raccoons will not be tempted 
  • You can make it difficult for the raccoons to climb the feeder pole by making the pole out of metal. Metal has a smooth surface and will cause the raccoon to lose its grip. 
  • Installing a squirrel baffle is not only effective against the squirrels but also for the raccoons as well. An ideal baffle should be 24 inches long and 8 inches wide. 
  • You must check the location of the feeders. It must not be near the trees as raccoons can climb trees and easily access the feeders. The alternative is using a pole or hanging a feeder in the middle of a wire. 
  • A repellent spray can be sprayed on the feeder and the pole. This will not harm the raccoons but will instead keep them away. 
  • The bird feeders should be removed before nightfall and stored in a spot where raccoon access is less. 
  • Food scraps or remnants should be cleared away as they welcome raccoons at night. 

What Gets Rid Of Raccoons In Your Yard? 

  • It is not sufficient to keep the raccoons deterred away from the bird feeders only. It would be best if you also went the extra mile to keep your garden/ yard safe from raccoon attacks. Here are a few ways by which you can do this effectively:
  • You can install motion-activated sprinklers in your garden. As a result, water will keep the raccoons away from your garden
  • You can install ultrasound deterrent devices, and this can be used to keep raccoons and other animals away from your yard. 
  • The trash cans must be secured and tightly sealed at night so that even if raccoons try opening them, they fail. 
  • There is raccoon repelling trash bags available in the market, and you can purchase them to keep them at bay.
  • The use of ammonia or other pungent smells can keep raccoons away from the trash cans.
  • Wires can protect the fences. 
  • The bird food and other pet food should be cleared or thrown far away from where the raccoons cannot reach them. 

Read Full Article: How To Get Rid of Raccoons

Wrapping It Up

Raccoons are predators of the birds and will attack one if they come across one. Usually, the raccoons can be deterred easily by following the measures stated in the article.

Still, many other precautions are necessary to keep the raccoons away.

The bird feeders should be emptied out and no food particles should be left behind. You can also hunt down raccoons and kill them but it is ethically wrong to do so. However, upgrading your security system can offer your birds some solace and protection from predator raccoons.


College of Agriculture, Food and Environment

Society For Conservation Biology. (2003, July 28). More Raccoons May Mean Fewer Songbirds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 14, 2022 from