Charles was kind enough to gather me up some pine cones the other day, so this morning I filled a few of them up with a peanut butter/mixed seed/leftover cookies/crushed egg shell mixture & hung them out back. I know they'll all be stolen by the raccoons tonight, before the birds even check them out. The birds here are suspicious of anything new, even when it's for their benefit. The few times I've chopped up some fruit to put out with the seed, all it did was prevent the birds from even coming for the seed. They'd swoop in, see unfamiliar bits & head elsewhere. A braver bird or two (usually larger ones; blue jays, crows or woodpeckers,) might take me up on my offer, but the songbirds take a few days to "come around." Unfortunately, this time of year they don't have time to "come around." The raccoons have returned en masse to fatten themselves up for "Winter" (in quotes because South Louisiana doesn't even get a real Winter.) Although I would like to see the birds enjoying my treats, at least the raccoons will be more immediately appreciative. Everyone's gotta eat, after all...even the rat bastard squirrels.
Update (12/9/7); The pine cones survived 2 raccoon visits that we noticed--the chicken wing bones we threw out after dinner were a good deterrent. However, overnight 4 out of 5 pine cones were filched. I caught a squirrel enjoying one this morning & found another one already finished with on the ground. The other 2 are just gone with the wind.
Update (12/10/7); The last pine cone is gone.