Thx, GF--they do have luxurious tails, don't they! They must be shedding or else kits are really hard on their moms, though, cuz the fems I see have a lot of matts and are all disheveled.
They do sound wicked, Longblades! The first time hubby heard them growling in the brush he thought it was someone revving an ATV.
Then the scrapping started and he realized it was animals...
We're trying to retrain ours to come only at night. They used to, but after our spring bear raid, we had to start bringing the feeders in at night. Now they know their only chance at the feeders is during the day, so they've been coming out in broad daylight. And, when the feeders are empty, they come inside
the fence and try to raid the hummingbird nectar
So now we hang both platform feeders high so they can't easily reach them (my ground-feeding birds will either have to learn to feed higher or settle for the pickings that get dropped over the edge) and the dogs keep vigilant watch through the window and send up an alarm the second they spot a striped tail heading toward the nectar.
At night, I dump the last of the seed left in the feeders in a particular spot outside the fence and I know they eat that--I'm hoping they go back to coming only at night and noshing on the leftover seed.
I do have a compost pile--maybe I should start dumping the leftover seed there--farther from the yards and the nectar feeders!