We starting putting out food and water in our backyard this summer. We thought the birds might appreciate the gesture considering the extended drought and high temperatures we were experiencing. We began by putting out birdseed. Later we started putting out a squirrel mix, which attracted both squirrels and birds alike.
On occasion we would put out other food items. Old apples, for example. The Northern Mockingbirds loved these. Sometimes I would fill up a dish with peanuts. These were a Fox Squirrel favorite, as you might expect.
Over time, though, I started to notice that the peanuts I put out would disappear much faster than what I would expect. Sometimes a whole dish of peanuts would be cleaned out from one afternoon to the next. I chalked it up to hungry squirrels. Maybe there were a few more than I realized coming to our backyard feeder as well.
Then one day, on a whim, I put out a hand full of Clementine oranges that had been in our refrigerator a little too long. I tossed the 5 or 6 oranges into the bushes just next to where our feeder was set up. I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of wildlife they might attract.
The oranges sat undisturbed for the better part of a week. And, then one night they just disappeared. Right away I suspected the culprit, and I set out a few more oranges and a Scouting Camera to verify my suspicions.