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Photo © Al Tuttle

How can I tell if a raccoon has raided my box?

This is a common question we receive during the breeding season. The telltale sign of depredation by a raccoon is a totally disheveled nest, eggs, or chicks. Eggs once present in the nest may be dumped to the bottom of the box or they may be gone altogether. Nest material is pulled up from the nest and often is hanging out of the entrance hole, or is on the ground under the nest box. Raccoons tend to either sit on the roof of the box or hang on the side of the box and reach in through the entrance hole. They pull at anything they can reach whether it be nest material, eggs, or nestlings. Once raccoons have found a nest box, they will likely return again.

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Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Cornell Lab of Ornithology