Racoon attack - can I move some babies?

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Susquatch
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:51 pm
Location: Ontario/Blenheim

Racoon attack - can I move some babies?

Postby Susquatch » Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:21 am

I had a racoon destroy 4 out of 8 nests last night. I've never needed a racoon guard before, but I guess that was asking for trouble. I'll install one today.

Some of my lost nests were built by old established pairs. I'd like to make sure they come back next year. I am afraid their failed nest will work against that. Can I move a few babies to other nests so all my birds have babies to raise?

Or should I just cut my losses and learn a painful lesson.

Thanks.
The best way to repay a favour is to pass it on.

BillieJR
Posts: 503
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:39 am
Location: Monroe, WI

Re: Racoon attack - can I move some babies?

Postby BillieJR » Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:10 am

Oh no - I am so sorry. Did you see the coon? I don't know the answer to your question but it would be a brilliant idea if it worked to hopefully keep your adults there so they don't abandon your colony. Good luck - I'll be following this to see what some of the more experienced landlords have to say about how to proceed.
Billie from southern Wisonsin

Susquatch
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:51 pm
Location: Ontario/Blenheim

Re: Racoon attack - can I move some babies?

Postby Susquatch » Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:52 am

BillieJR wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:10 am
Did you see the coon?
No, I didn't see it. But the scratches on the post and the condo damage (bent roof, bent and torn wall panels, & mutilated perching rods) makes it very obvious what it was.

I'm anxious for an experienced reply too....
The best way to repay a favour is to pass it on.

Louise Chambers
Site Admin
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Re: Racoon attack - can I move some babies?

Postby Louise Chambers » Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:56 am

I would say do not interfere - moving babies could put them at risk. Leave them with their parents. Get your pole guards up, and the pairs that fledge young will return, and your colony will rebuild.

Susquatch
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:51 pm
Location: Ontario/Blenheim

Re: Racoon attack - can I move some babies?

Postby Susquatch » Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:25 pm

Louise Chambers wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:56 am
I would say do not interfere - moving babies could put them at risk. Leave them with their parents. Get your pole guards up, and the pairs that fledge young will return, and your colony will rebuild.
OK, that is what I have done in the absence of advice. Frankly, it is probably too late anyway. The adults that have lost their brood seem to have disappeared already.

In the meantime, I have installed a home-made guard as well as moved one of my home security cameras to the area so I know immediately if there is another attack underway.
The best way to repay a favour is to pass it on.

KathyF
Posts: 3474
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 1:57 pm
Location: Missouri/Licking
Martin Colony History: Colony started - 2007 with one pair
As of 2018 - 84 cavities offered, max # of pairs hosted - 82.

Re: Racoon attack - can I move some babies?

Postby KathyF » Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:04 pm

Make sure your predator guards are properly sized & mounted, or the raccoons will be back:

https://www.purplemartin.org/uploads/me ... es-496.pdf

and read this one too:
https://www.purplemartin.org/uploads/me ... ds-410.pdf
"Sometimes", said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
2016 - 82 pair
2015 - 76 pair
2014 - 75 pair
2013 - 75 pair
2012-72 pair
http://kathyfreeze.blogspot.com

Conrad Baker
Posts: 214
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:43 pm
Location: Paulina, Louisiana

Re: Racoon attack - can I move some babies?

Postby Conrad Baker » Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:59 am

Have you considered getting a trap to catch the raccoon? Not sure about your area, but the Humane Society might be able to lend you a trap to catch it, and relocate it to a wilderness area (far from you). Bait it with cat food, or sardines. I have one that is wire mesh, shaped like a long box, and when the raccoon walks into it to get to the bait, he steps on a pad that drops the door, enclosing him. They used to be sold by "Havahart", but there are many different ones now with the same concept. I wouldn't remove the Martins, I would remove the raccoon.

Doug Martin - PA
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Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 10:47 am
Location: Pennsylvania/Fombell

Re: Racoon attack - can I move some babies?

Postby Doug Martin - PA » Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:59 pm

A few years ago both my colony and one down the road from me began to get attacked by raccoons at night. We live out in the country.

To make a long story short we cut our losses to only a few birds but I lost a lot of sleep staying up with a gun at night. Once raccoons see this as food they get past almost anything somehow and still get up the pole.

My poles all now all charged with an electric fencing kit with the wire wrapped around the PVC pipe. This is a very effective predator guard. Especially against raccoons.

What you likely have is a mother raccoon (and perhaps other adults) feeding their young ones down below. They climb up the pole and get the birds then kill them and throw them down to the young ones. They can wipe you out in a few nights. When I sat up at night waiting I put a bell on a string on the poles. The bell would ring and a flashlight showed over half a dozen sets of lit up eyes.

The biggest problem you have is once they learn this..... it will continue to happen in the future. I suggest you research electric fence chargers and wire online or at tractor supply. They defeated typical predator guards a few times.

Trapping will help but there are a lot of raccoons that will roam in a 2-3 mile radius for food. My neighbor had trapped 10 so far this year and there was still a mother with 5 young out raiding things at night.

I agree with Louise. Don't move young unless you absolutely have to. Especially at an older age which they likely are. Kathy is right too. They can be very athletic and beat a lot of good guards.

Doug
Supplemental feeding plays a major role in western Pennsylvania. Finally got my 1st pair in 2009 after 28 years of effort. 3 pairs in 2010. 17 pairs in 2011. 35 pairs and 150 young in 2012 & 2013. Plus a new 22 pair colony right down the road from me.

John & Linda - KY
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Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 10:19 pm
Location: Kentucky/Hawesville

Re: Racoon attack - can I move some babies?

Postby John & Linda - KY » Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:05 pm

Conrad Baker wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:59 am
Have you considered getting a trap to catch the raccoon? Not sure about your area, but the Humane Society might be able to lend you a trap to catch it, and relocate it to a wilderness area (far from you). Bait it with cat food, or sardines. I have one that is wire mesh, shaped like a long box, and when the raccoon walks into it to get to the bait, he steps on a pad that drops the door, enclosing him. They used to be sold by "Havahart", but there are many different ones now with the same concept. I wouldn't remove the Martins, I would remove the raccoon.
That works until you have the "opportunity" to remove a skunk! -- John

Conrad Baker
Posts: 214
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:43 pm
Location: Paulina, Louisiana

Re: Racoon attack - can I move some babies?

Postby Conrad Baker » Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:34 pm

I will let my wife handle the Skunk removal. I will handle the Racoons

Susquatch
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:51 pm
Location: Ontario/Blenheim

Re: Racoon attack - can I move some babies?

Postby Susquatch » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:10 am

I am a farmer and I'm not the only one around here who doesn't like racoons. They get into machinery and bung up the works, they kill chickens, ducks, and young animals. They dig holes in roofs and infest attics. They chew through wires. ...... The list of criminal behaviour is endless. It's no wonder God gave them a mask.

I have used racoon traps in the past with only moderate success. I don't know if it's a bait issue or savvy racoons. I've had a trap out and rotated baits (marshmallows, cheese, sardines, catfood, salmon skin, steak fat) since the original attack. It has accomplished nothing.

I have caught skunks in the past. Throw an old blanket over the trap. It USUALLY works to stop them from spraying. But it will ALWAYS block the direct spray. The biggest issue is getting them out of the trap. If catching a skunk is a potential issue, I suggest running a small rope through the trap doors that can be pulled to close the blocking door and then lift the trap door BEFORE using the trap. That way, you can stand behind the blanket and open the door. Depending on the trap design, you may need another string or a stick to open the lock mechanism.

Some of my farm neighbours say that raccoons carry a plethora of diseases, and therefore the trap must always be thoroughly sterilized. A good way to do that is to submerse it underwater for several hours. Apparently farm pond water contains natural sterilizers. They also claim that removing racoons from a trap is easier if you sterilize the trap first.......

For this particular event, I am happy to say with confidence that 4 nests survived with no casualties, and two babies that crawled into a corner of the vestibule in a fifth apartment also made it. I am sad to say that their siblings as well as all the babies in three other nests were killed.

I did a number of things after the attack. I temporarily repaired the condo as best as I could. I also replaced all the nests as it was time to do that anyway. I installed a two foot section of 6" stove pipe on the pole at eye level (I didn't have anything larger). I also mounted a motion sensitive monitoring camera on the fence nearby (Wireless Arlo Pro).

When it senses motion, the Arlo takes a photo and emails it to me. Then it also takes a video clip (length of the clip is configurable) that is stored on the Arlo Cloud. The system sends a notification and emails the photo to my phone, so I installed a loud ringtone that wakes me up when that happens.

The first night after the attack, there were 4 large raccoons. Let's just say that I am confident that three of them will not be coming back. Every night since then, the fourth has returned and unsuccessfully attempted to climb the pole. I do not know how it knows, but by the time I get outside, it is always gone. I've even patrolled the perimeter of my farmyard (see my avatar for a visual of that) and found nothing. I didn't turn on any lights. The video footage shows the raccoon turning to look at the house and then running away. Smart raccoon...... I am thinking of putting up some more cameras to figure out where it comes from so I can be up and ready before it gets to the house.

The trap is always undisturbed.

I have considered an electric fence system. I have one already, but the truth is that I don't really want to scare them away. I much prefer to relocate them to the city - to get even with all the city folks who relocate them to the wilderness areas next to my farm....... LOL! Seriously, scaring them away from the pole with an electric fence just moves the problem to my neighbour's chicken coop or my attic.

To end on a VERY POSITIVE NOTE! I am pretty sure that two pairs of the bereaving martins are starting over and building a new nest!
The best way to repay a favour is to pass it on.

Conrad Baker
Posts: 214
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:43 pm
Location: Paulina, Louisiana

Re: Racoon attack - can I move some babies?

Postby Conrad Baker » Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:49 am

Sasquatch, have you seen the raccoon trap that is about the size of a soda can, and you bait it, then the raccoon reaches into it to get the bait? It has some type of spring in it that snaps on the raccoons paw, and he is held there (until you arrive to "save" him). I will see if I can find out the name, and maybe you can see if it is available in your area.
It is very popular down here, and catches lots of Raccoons. Apparently they don't feel threatened by it since there is no box or cage that they have to enter. The locals bait them with peanut butter, and they are quite effective.


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