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We put up a trail camera in attempt to catch the culprits. And we did! All night long, a line-up of little deer mice came up an adjacent shrub, scurried along its branches and then easily climbed up onto the feeder. The protective mesh gave them perfect climbing ladders from which to access all the ports. When the feeder was finally emptied, it was easy for them to climb right inside the feeder and finish off the last of these tasty morsels.
As much as we enjoy supporting biodiversity at Ellis Bird Farm, our budget would not support feeding such expensive offerings to the mice! We have since moved the feeder away from the bushes.