I am an idiot. I choked and left the birdfeeders out all night, blithely ignoring the warm night and lateness of the season. I had been considering taking them in for good, but we had another cold snap (these cold snaps do not seem to be ending).
With no feeders, my fine-feathered friends were pecking at bare frozen earth and shooting dismembering glares at the house. I could not take it. I caved and bought more sunflower seed and put the feeders back out. I thought the famished ursine neighbors would languish in their comfy dens for several more weeks.
I was so wrong.
Now I am out one perfectly good squirrel-proof (but not bear-proof) feeder. The marauder not only pulled the feeder down, but in frustration, ripped off the top and emptied the seed (no doubt right into his mouth like a pixie stick.) Then it looks like he sat on the feeder for it is as flat as a pancake (alright, more like a waffle). The thistle sock? Right. Thanks for asking. Disappeared, no doubt gutted and tossed aside, to be found whenever I get around to finish tidying last fall’s leaves tucked under the hedge. Sigh. Woulda, shoulda, coulda.