Posted: June 17, 2022
There’s a reason why Raccoons wear a mask. It’s because they are bandits!! I say this with much love for all animals including Bandit Raccoons.
Raccoon, Procyon lotor, it’s scientific name, lotor, meaning “a washer” because of the action of “washing” it’s food. It actually uses water, if it’s available, to make more sensitive the paws which makes tearing the food and feeling for matter that needs to be rejected easier. The common name, Raccoon, comes from Aroughcoune, used in colonial times by the Algonquin Indians of Virginia to mean “he scratches with his hands.” The Raccoon does not hibernate but may sleep for several days at a time during cold spells. They are Omnivores and will eat a variety of fruits, nuts, insects, bird’s eggs, nestlings and small mammals. It will also prowl woodland streams and swim, but not dive for crayfish, fish, clams, turtles and turtle eggs. Raccoons are nocturnal but are often seen in the daytime when breeding or caring for its young.
There is an abundance of all the food items mentioned above in my yard and surrounding woodland area. However, the Raccoon that lives in my woodland area LOVES to drink out of the Hummingbird feeders! I have two Hummingbird feeders and one Oriole feeder. If I do not remember to bring them in at night, I wake to find they have been raided by the Bandit Raccoon! A few late afternoons ago I walked onto my front deck to see the Raccoon standing on hind legs drinking from the Hummingbird feeder that was hanging lower than the others on a shepherd’s hook. I literally asked, “What are you doing?” To which the Raccoon looked at me, proceeded to lift the feeder off the hook and roll it underneath the shrubbery where she began, once again, to drink from it. Lesson learned. I now bring in the feeders much earlier than first anticipated to keep them from the Bandit Raccoon! Yes, I took a picture…enjoy!
Written by Susan McCombe, WLT Board Member