Woman Hides Camera In Bird Feeder And Captures Surprising Animal Visitors

“We had no idea these animals were visiting our yard regularly!”

When Danae Wolfe set up a secret camera in her backyard bird feeder, she expected to see a lot of different, colorful birds stop by for a visit. But almost immediately, the conservation educator discovered that it wasn’t just those with feathers and wings chowing down on the seed.

A bird sits in a bath.
Danae Wolfe

“We have a certified wildlife garden at home, and I was thrilled to start tracking all the various bird species that our yard supports,” Wolfe told The Dodo. “[But] we noticed our non-feathered visitors almost immediately.”

Racoons were among the first captured on Wolfe’s land in Ohio, with others soon to follow.

A racoon eats from a bird feeder.
Danae Wolfe

“The raccoons knocked the feeder off the tree where it was mounted during the first night,” Wolfe said. “The camera captured the moment a raccoon knocked the feeder off the tree and broke the bird perch. Shortly thereafter, the feeder captured a variety of nocturnal visitors stopping by for a late-night snack, including deer, skunks, flying squirrels and, of course, more raccoons!”

You can watch one of her visitors in action here:

Wolfe maintains her suburban landscape to cater to wildlife in hopes of catching a glimpse.

“We’ve seen the deer visit during the day and we occasionally see a skunk waddle through the yard every once in a while,” Wolfe said. “But before installing the bird feeder camera, we had no idea these animals were visiting our yard regularly!”

With all of the hungry nighttime guests, Wolfe is basically running a 24-hour restaurant for the wildlife in her area. And that means going through a lot of bird food.

Deer eat from a bird feeder.
Danae Wolfe

“The deer eat a good portion when they visit, and the raccoons often polish off the rest,” she said. “What they don’t eat, the squirrels snack on during the day. Occasionally, we’ll see a bird, but it’s become more of a mammal feeder than a bird feeder.”

Though Wolfe loves all the regulars — including those she can’t immediately identify — raccoons have a special place in her heart.

“The bird feeder camera has a two-way radio, so I sometimes whisper ‘I love you’ to them while they eat,” she said. “The flying squirrels are a close second. I didn’t know we had [them] until the feeder captured them on camera, so that was a very nice surprise.”

An unknown animal is captured on camera.
Danae Wolfe

“It’s been incredibly rewarding to see that our yard is supporting [such] amazing diversity of animals, and the hard work we’re putting into our home landscape is paying off,” Wolfe said. “It feels like we have a forest in the middle of a suburban neighborhood, which is a dream come true.”

Follow Wolfe’s conservation platform, Chasing Bugs, on TikTok.