Pine Cone Thief

I must have done something right if wildlife loves my pine cone treats so much that they steal them away in broad daylight. I’d covered the pine cones in a mixture of natural peanut butter, corn meal, cranberries, and quality seed (black oil sunflower, safflower, thistle, peanuts) — yummy energizing goodness that’s rich in fat, protein, and carbs for birds trying to stay warm in the cold.

pineconetreats12-9-11.jpgNormally, I’d have these pine cones hanging from a branch or hook, but the wire broke on both of them, and I got lazy and put them in a saucer outside my entryway window, it being a great spot to see our avian visitors. Maybe that’s not being lazy — maybe it’s just clever! Well, except that they’re getting stolen by creatures that CLIMB, so I’ll go so far as to say it’s a good idea that needs a little tweaking.

Well, within a day, one peanut-butter delight was whisked away to some cozy little cubby hole. Some naughty squirrel has been having quite a feast, I dare say.

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Bewick’s Wren

I’ve been hovering around, keeping my eye on the remaining pine cone. Even so, on day two there was an attempt to steal said pine cone, but I found it below the gate. On day three, I thought the pine cone was lost for good, but I happened to spot it in the middle of the yard. At least now I have a clue as to which greedy squirrels it might be — they appear to be trying to take it toward the trees in the next yard, where they have a nest.

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 Yellow-Rumped Warbler

But I keep rescuing the pine cone and putting it back. In the meantime, I’m trying to find a source of more plain pine cones, but looking for them in the Christmas season is not the easiest of endeavors, I must say. I’m going to have to gather quite a collection of them next time I find myself in a pine forest.

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Carolina Wren

By the way, we have a new homemade feeder at the house, and I love it!

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My husband made me this wonderful log peanut-butter feeder, using a 1 1/4″ spade bit and an electric drill. We filled the holes with Wild Birds Unlimited BugBerry Bark Butter that has tasty mealworms in it. I know there are birds visiting it, but so far I’ve only seen evidence of some food missing from the holes, and one glimpse of a bird taking flight as I approached the window. One day I’ll have a picture of a bird enjoying the feeder! I suspect it will be most popular with woodpeckers and creepers.

I guess I best get out there and smear peanut butter on the birds’ favorite perch from last year. I might not have pine cones left much longer!

15 thoughts on “Pine Cone Thief

  1. Just as soon as I have a minute I am going to make some of these but I’m not going to let the squirrel get to them. ALso the homemade log. I suppose we could make up our own mix for that. Now, let me think, where!!

  2. I love the homemade mix. It is a breeze to make, Jenny. You can add just a hint of sunflower oil to moisten it as needed. If you run across unscented pine cones, let me know where!

  3. Amy, I have the fattest squirrels. I’m not sure that’s a good thing, but they’re happy and at least they share with the birds MOST of the time.

  4. We had a period where a raccoon (we think) was getting into the feeder by pulling it off its hook and dropping it on the ground. We’ve modified the hooks and done what we can to make it harder, and fortunately nothing has disturbed the feeders during the night lately. The squirrels are the current nuisances with the pine cone treats, though. Naughty squirrels!

  5. We had what must have been a raccoon take down all our feeders, and throw them on the ground. Broke the newest, squirrel-proof (haha) one. We’ll have to rethink things here.
    It’s always something, with wildlife….

  6. That log feeder is great! I’ve never seen one like that before. We’re having issues with our bird feeder again–the squirrels are happy, though. We need to get one of those silicone cones that make it hard for the squirrels to climb. Hehe.

  7. I kept getting up in the night to see if I could spot a raccoon, but I never did. Only ever saw possums and a skunk. But I’d expect the raccoon to be most capable of such naughtiness!

  8. Love the goodness-filled pine cone idea! I’ve been collecting the ones the squirrels threw into my yard from the neighbor’s pine tree to make something holiday-related…but this looks like a much more fun project. You take such good care of neighborhood birds and wildlife.

  9. Meridith, I thought of you when I was exploring Nevada City, Ca and found a lot or squashed pine cones in a parking lot. I rescued a bag of fairly large ones and then grabbed a gianormous one on the hill above Clear Lake, in the coastal range of California.
    If you’ll give me your snail mail address, I’ll get them mailed early next week. I have a large grocery bag full.

  10. The birds look so happy to have the peanut-butter meals, Amy — especially when it’s very cold outside. I hope you’ll give it a try!

  11. Enjoyed watching woodpeckers at my suet feeder, but now think squirrels are quickly devouring. My dog is cleaning up droppings from ground. Hope it is ok for her. Your pine come looks yummy!

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