Driving down from Alpine this morning I was feeling especially happy. Couldn't explain why, but it was great anyway. At the oasis I immediately saw the scat. Hard to miss.
Glancing over at the feeder I was awestruck. Not only had it been tipped over, but the post it had been wired to was bent nearly to the ground. That's a heavy steel T-post. The oasis had been ravaged. Chairs tipped over, and all kinds of damage. The seed feeder base had been ripped out of the concrete and welds broken, etc. In order to tip it over, they had to break the wire. The wire wasn't tough wire because I didn't think it was necessary and my tough wire is really hard to work with. So if they broke the wire, why bend the post? It wasn't even bent in the direction of the tip. Really strange. It took me hours to get that post back upright. And I used tough heavy wire to attach the barrel to the post. I'm not strong enough to take all the slack out of the wire (clothesline wire), but they shouldn't be able to tip the feeder over. I'm not going to put seed and corn in it until the things bears like are gone from the oasis. Meaning acorns and fruit.
The thing most distressing was that every hummingbird feeder was pulled down. Five had various damages to the feeders, although none of the glass bottles were broken. I was able to glue the caps back on, and they're still usable in spite of having some of the perches broken off.
BUT, that means I have to raise all my feeders. Thereafter, refilling them will require using a stool. The price of having hummers just went up. I'll do it though. So most of my day was spent doing my best to give the hummers something to eat after having gone all day yesterday with nothing. Never mind it got up to 99° today along with the humidity we've been experiencing this spring. I was determined not to quit working until the hummers had some bear-proof feeders.
The first four were easy. There were already chains and hooks hanging from the canopy. I hadn't been using them, but I will henceforth.
Harder was the viewing area. I'm going to coerce my husband into making me three big strong feeder stands like Kelly has, but meanwhile I need something in the viewing area for them. They're accustomed to that area and that's where birders can observe them in comfort. So I managed to get these 3 feeders hung, as I was almost out of daylight, on something the bears couldn't pull down. They bent down my current feeder stands.
For whatever reason, the rascals even muddied up my phone inside the phone box. Vandals!
Tomorrow I'm going to try to reinforce my 3 flimsy feeder stands temporarily until I get new ones.
Not quite business as usual, but the hummers aren't complaining. A male Broad-tailed even spent some time partaking of the sugar water this afternoon as I worked. Unfortunately, I didn't get a photo of him.
When I walked into the house at dark, all I could think was, "Wow, I made it through the day."