Dear Squirrels and Raccoons,
I'm sorry. I accused you falsely. But you have to admit: the circumstantial evidence was plentiful.
Squirrel, do you remember the day I looked out the window and found you curled up inside the "squirrel-proof" bird feeder, merrily chewing away at the goodies within? And aren't you the critters that march like furry tanks across the seeds spread on the deck railing, leaving a trail of shattered and empty shells in your wake?
And raccoons: really, can you blame me for being a little suspicious, when "search and destroy" seems to be your motto? Remember the suet feeder? You took it. Not the suet, oh no! You took the WHOLE FEEDER from its chain on the porch. We did find it, you know, months later, in the crawl space under the house. Its little door was pried open, and the suet was long gone. I don't even want to think about the hummingbird feeder. It wasn't enough that you had to open it and drink it dry: you pulled off the little yellow flower-shaped wasp-guards, too. We never did track down the last two.
Because of this history we have, little mammals, you can understand why I thought of you when the peanut feeder went empty so fast. Less than 4 hours to completely run out of unshelled peanuts? There's NO WAY mere birds could do that.
Except... Shouldn't there have been empty shells on the ground under the feeder? You two tend to dine in, rather than resort to carry-out. And, now that I think of it, the emptying was done during the day, which doesn't sound like Mr. Raccoon.
Who, then? It was clearly time for clandestine surveillance.
So, raccoons and squirrels, I offer my sincere apologies for accusing you unjustly.