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Bird feeders also feeding deer

By Gary Bogue
Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 at 7:04 am in Bird Feeders, deer.

Deer at backyard feeder in Oakland, CA. Photo by Susan Russell, Oakland, CA.
1deer at feeder susan russell oak

Dear readers:
In my daily newspaper column of Tuesday, Feb. 21 (“Bird feeder doubles as deer feeder”), Anne Watson of Pleasanton, Calif., had a letter describing how a buck deer was eating all of the bird seed out of a backyard feeder (

Here are a couple of responses to that column from other readers. I thought you’d get a kick out of the photos. Apparently “everybody” likes bird seed. (To the deer, you can add raccoons, foxes, squirrels and skunks!). /Gary

After reading your Tuesday column I just had to pass on this photo I took in our backyard in Montclair, Calif.  I, too, was wondering why the birdseed was disappearing so quickly, especially since the feeder is one of those “swirl-a-squirrel” type that keeps the squirrels from dining.  I never imagined it was deer until I caught this one with her hand in the cookie jar, so to speak.  Her friend is browsing in the background waiting her turn.  Animals are very resourceful.  Needless to say, I raised the feeder.  Hopefully there are are no giraffes roaming the Oakland Hills.
Susan Russell,Oakland, California

Deer nibbling at bird feeder in Thermopolis, Wyoming. Photo by Jan Toepfer, Alameda, CA
1deer at feeder2 Jan toepfer alameda

Last year when we were in Thermopolis, Wyoming, it was deer season, so many of the critters came in to town since they knew they were safe there from hunters. Attached is a photo of one of the ways the deer found food.  This was outside our motel.  They came early evenings, often three or more animals.  Great fun to watch.

The motel had posted a sign by the bird feeders that they were for birds only, deer not allowed. Guess the deer couldn’t read.
Jan Toepfer, Alameda, California

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5 Responses to “Bird feeders also feeding deer”

  1. Deborah Bass Says:

    Gary, you can also add rats to those critters who dine on bird seed. Our vector control technicians are convinced that rats relish bird seed as a gourmet meal.

    Deborah Bass
    Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District

  2. Gary Bogue Says:

    Deborah: Yes, rats (and mice!) should also be added. /Gary

  3. Rattakin Says:

    We bring our birdfeeders in at dusk because we noticed the rats were hitting them up at night. Now they have to search all over for food and we have a lot more owls!

  4. H. Bonnie Matton Says:

    Gary ~ A voice out of your past! I use to do volunteer work with James Naviaux, DMV years and YEARS ago. We worked together in helping to save birds which were caught in that first horrible oil spill.

    For the last twelve years, my husband and I have been living in Dayton, Nevada (30 minutes east of Carson City, Nevada)and working to protect and preserve our wild horses. I could talk about our trials and tribulations for at least 18 hours straight!

    Just wanted to say hello, and so glad you are still continuing to work in saving the animals of this planet. Best wishes to you for all you do.

    Bonnie (Hardenbrook) Matton

  5. B.D. Ault Says:

    My dogs are acting really strange this morning. If we have an earthquake, I am the 1st to let you know about odd animal behaviour. : )

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