One quick and easy solution to keep raccoons from eating seed intended for your backyard birds is to put out only as much seed as the birds will eat by nightfall. Raccoons forage at night, so they’ll miss the free lunch you’re providing.

Another equally simple solution is to bring your bird feeders in at night and put them back out the next morning. Either way, your birds won’t miss out and you’ll likely save on seed costs.

Some other options:

Crash Diet—Remove your bird feeders for a week or slowly reduce the amount of food in the feeders. When the banquet disappears or dwindles in size, raccoons may seek other places to dine.

Hang 'em high—Hang your bird feeders on poles a half inch or less in diameter, securing the pole firmly so it cannot be knocked over. Raccoons cannot climb such a thin pole and they won’t be able to tip it over to access the seed.

High-wire act—Suspend your bird feeders from a wire extending between two trees. String soda bottles lengthwise along each side of the feeder if you also want to prevent squirrels from walking the wire to get to the feeder—if a squirrel approaches, the bottles will spin, returning them to the ground.

Waste not, want not—Reduce the seed that falls to the ground (an attractant for raccoons) by using only one type of seed per feeder and using feeders that catch fallen seed.

I can do that—If you are a DIY-er, you can make a raccoon guard for your pole-mounted feeders. Or if you are not so handy, you can purchase a raccoon guard at most places that sell bird feeding supplies.

The old clothesline trick—Set up a clothesline for hanging the bird feeder, isolated from tree branches or other structures that might provide access for raccoons.

Skip the grease—Don't grease up feeder poles or wires. If it gets on a bird’s feathers, they cannot preen it out and when feathers cannot be preened, they don’t work well for flight or insulation. That leaves the bird vulnerable to predators, bad weather and disease.

Keep a lid on it—Finally, store your birdseed supplies in galvanized metal cans with tight-fitting lids. Such containers do not rust and they keep the seed safe from water, insects and animals who might chew through a plastic container. To keep the lid extra secure, add a bungee cord or place a brick or large stone on top.