Who got my hummingbird feeder?
My house is situated within in several acres of woods.
I've been putting out a hummingbird feeder for several years with no problems. Last night some critter came by, did some damage to it, and consumed all the sugar water. The critter also foraged around some tomato and herb plants that I'll be transplanting to pots soon. Although foraging evidence was obvious, nothing appears to have been eaten.
My deck is over five feet off the ground with no steps or other inclined access. Whoever visited is capable of climbing vertically, although part of the deck has latticework, so there is a "ladder" of sorts. Chairs, tables, and a charcoal grill on the deck were undisturbed.
Because the damage was so slight and not much was disturbed, I'd rule out the clumsy bear who came by a few years ago to destroy my bird feeder. I've lived here for 30 years and never smelled a skunk until yesterday, so that was my first suspicion. But searching the internet, I learned that Western spotted skunks climb, but striped skunks do not (I live in upstate NY). I did not find any droppings nearby.
I've never seen a raccoon or 'possum around here, but being nocturnal, they are rarely sighted except as roadkill. I'm leaning towards a raccoon because of their manual dexterity; each of the six plastic "flowers" covering the feeding hole was carefully pried off.
I would have uploaded a couple of photos, but it's totally unclear to me how to do it on this forum.