do raccoons eat birds

Do Raccoons Eat Birds?

Written by: Annemarie Dutton

Raccoons are creatures that are native to North America, and most people living in this part of the world have seen at least one skulking about. Their diet has great variety and includes meat, contrary to what some may think. Most people associate them with going through the garbage bins looking for leftovers, but they are predators to some animals too.

Do raccoons eat birds?

Raccoons do eat birds. These animals have a taste for both plants and animals. If the raccoon is too lazy to catch and eat a live bird it will eat baby birds or bird eggs. Bird eggs are rich in nutrients and will keep the raccoon healthy.

They are omnivores, they are capable of eating select plants and meats as part of their diet, but their reliance on meat dictates what nutrients they have, and how they live. Raccoons have impressive digestive systems which allow them to make the most of their surroundings, they have many food options. In the wild, they forage and hunt for food.

Birds are hard to catch for raccoons though. Raccoons are not very fast nor strong and an adult bird that is able to fly will easily avoid danger. 

Raccoons will usually prey on birds that are offspring, injured, or dead. They will not require much to hunt down and are an easy source of food. Birds are a great source of protein and vitamins.

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Do raccoons eat bird eggs?

Raccoons eat bird eggs too. Raccoons don’t mind stealing eggs from nests, in fact, they will benefit from the added vitamins such as selenium which is essential for them. If the mother bird catches the raccoon it will fight back to keep her eggs safe. To get to the eggs, raccoons will use their paws to climb and grab the eggs they want.

To ensure that their offspring get to hatch before being snatched by raccoons, birds will fight back. Birds fight back at raccoons using their sharp talons. The birds that raccoons will have to beware of are birds that are predators like hawks. In some cases, these birds hunt raccoons and won’t hesitate to attack if they catch them trying to steal their eggs.

Pigeon eggs are generally camouflaged within the mess of their nests. Chicken eggs are a raccoon’s delight because they are big, numerous and rich in selenium.

Will raccoons attack your backyard chickens?

Carnivorous predators make chickens their top preference and primary target. Given the opportunity, predators like raccoons will devour chickens without any regret or consideration. Young chickens enjoy laying on bare floors at night and become easy targets for these hungry critters. 

Raccoons are quite intelligent and have nimble fingers – so your number one priority will be to make sure the locks on your coop are fixed or secured firmly, and cannot be easily figured out by raccoons or little children.

If you have chickens in your yard make sure you do everything to keep them safe. High fences may not be enough to keep predators away.
As a chicken owner, you are probably wondering what other dangers are out there for them. Check out this article where we have compiled what other animals eat chickens!

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How to deal with raccoons coming into your garden

In their quest for food, raccoons may invade your garden or, even worse, your home. They have five toes and two front feet. These toes are equipped with sharp claws that are used to capture prey on land and in water. They may also be used to dig up grass and dirt in search of grub.

What do raccoons like to eat when they come to visit your home? They’ve been known to ravage homegrown fruits and vegetables and are notorious for rummaging through garbage. They may even build nests in your attic or crawl space. Raccoons can be dangerous and are proven carriers of numerous diseases, including rabies.

Here are a few ways to deter them without harm:

  • Use ammonia or vinegar – soak tennis balls or something similar and put them on your garden fence. Raccoons hate the smell of them.
  • Cucumber – raccoons hate the smell of this vegetable and will avoid your garden if you plant it around the edges.
  • Don’t leave garbage out – trash is the biggest attractor for raccoons. If you want, you can leave them food but bear in mind they will start coming frequently as they will assume your home is a source for them. 
  • Fences – build fences around the area where your chickens or pets stay. Make sure it does not have holes and is strong enough to keep raccoons away.

What other animals do raccoons eat?

Raccoons are versatile in terms of meat consumption. They do not limit themselves to one or two animals as part of their diet. It mainly depends on what they are exposed to in their habitat, but the list includes rodents, such as rabbits, squirrels, mice, as well as fish, clams, and frogs.

There are benefits to different meats. Raccoons mainly rely on small rodents and snails out of all animals. They are the easiest to catch and provide a good amount of nutrients. For more information on what animals raccoons eat, you can visit this website.

Conclusion

Raccoons eat birds among other animals. They are not the main part of their diet, however, dead, injured or offspring birds will be attacked by a raccoon if the opportunity is presented. Raccoons rely on plants for food but are opportunistic predators who are able to attack fatally smaller animals.

Chickens are also in danger as they are part of a raccoon’s diet. Make sure you take care of their safety if you know raccoons are lurking around your area.

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