Do Raccoons Eat Thistle Seeds? How To Protect Bird Feeders

When food is scarce, especially during the winter months, animals get creative about how to survive.

Raccoons can become a major problem during this time, they sneak into your yard, raid trashcans, gardens, as well as backyard feeders filled with seeds. So, do raccoons eat thistle seeds? This article looks into it.

Raccoons do eat thistle seeds. Raccoons eat a wide variety of seeds, these animals will steal thistle seeds when the opportunity presents itself. Seeds in your gardens are relatively easy to access for raccoons because these animals can open birdfeeders

Do raccoons eat thistle seeds?

Raccoons are called masked bandits because they are known to steal food. These animals will steal seeds right out of your birdfeeders. One type of seed that raccoons will happily munch on, straight out of your bird feeders, are thistle seeds.

Some birds can be very picky about the seeds that they eat. If you want to attract goldfinches, then thistle seeds are the way to go.

Unfortunately, raccoons will be attracted to these seeds as well. 

How raccoons get to the seeds:

Raccoons aren’t very picky about what they eat, these animals will eat anything that they consider to be food. If thistle seeds are available to birds in your garden, then raccoons will do their best to access them.

Raccoons will even go as far as trying to open up your bird feeders to get to the seeds.

These animals are intelligent and are problem solvers, they can even open up human containers. They have dexterous paws and fingers which are similar to human hands and fingers.

These paws allow the raccoon to pull, grab and open things. They use these paws to pull open birdfeeders and can be quite successful in doing so 

What seeds do raccoons eat? 

Raccoons are quite fond of seeds, they will eat a variety of different seeds, seeds that raccoons eat include:

Sunflower seeds: This is a favorite food of raccoons, they will frequent birdfeeders in an effort to find these seeds.

Safflower seeds: Raccoons enjoy this seed so much that they will raid your bird feeders and leave no seeds left for birds. These seeds are rich in fats, proteins, and carbohydrates

Pumpkin seeds: Not only do raccoons enjoy pumpkins but they also enjoy pumpkin seeds. When raccoons are given pumpkins, they will eat both the flesh on the inside as well as the seats in the vegetable

These animals are able to eat a variety of other foods as well. This article looks more into what raccoons eat

How do you keep raccoons from eating bird seed?

Feed birds only enough:

Birds and raccoons are not awake at the same time, birds are diurnal and raccoons are nocturnal. This means that birds are up during the day and raccoons are up during the night.

Feeding birds only enough for the day will ensure that there are no seeds leftover for raccoons to be attracted to at night.

Spice up your bird feed:

Raccoons have a very advanced sense of smell, these animals do not like the smell of hot spicy foods, birds are not affected by spices.

You can use this to your advantage by feeding your birds birdseed that contain spices, alternatively, you could make your own DIY bird feed and add spices to it.

Spices like cayenne and hot peppers can be used.

Motion-activated sprinklers:

You can install motion-activated sprinklers around your birdfeeders, set them up so that they only work at night.

When raccoons approach your birdfeeders, the sprinklers will be set off and this will scare the raccoons away.

Pest control:

If all else fails, you may need to call pest control to get rid of your raccoon problem, some argue that the only way to get rid of these animals is to contact pest control.

Pest control will leave traps out to catch raccoons and then remove them from your property


In conclusion, yes, raccoons eat thistle seeds.

Raccoons will raid your birdfeeders looking for seeds, they will happily eat thistle seeds if they are available.

If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other raccoon related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: Do raccoons eat ducks?, Do raccoons eat duck eggs?, Do raccoons eat safflower seeds?, Do raccoons eat nyjer seed?

Do Raccoons Eat Thistle Seeds? How To Protect Bird Feeders
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