The Case of the Missing Sock Feeder

I’d been meaning to mention this, and paging back through the last weeks’ worth of images reminded me of it.

We’ve lost the sock feeder.

It disappeared sometime around noon, or shortly thereafter, on Saturday, June 2. The last shot we have that shows it still there was this one, taken by tedr at 11:58 a.m.:

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Sometime between that shot and this one, taken by kiddo at 1:28 p.m., it disappeared:

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Suspicion, as usual, falls immediately on Roscoe. Earlier that morning he was seen making use of the sock to reach the sunflower seeds; check out this shot taken at 8:31 by woodsong:

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And this acrobatic maneuver at 9:31, captured by glenlivet18:

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True, Roscoe isn’t actually touching the sock in that shot, but he clearly was spending a lot of time climbing on and around it on the morning in question.

A few months ago I had one of these sock feeders fall off the corner of my house where I’d hung it; my investigation in that case showed that the problem was the knot, which had basically untied itself under the weight and jostling of an endless progression of Lesser Goldfinches and House Finches. The CONE SF sock feeder hasn’t had the same level of finch attention, but it wouldn’t surprise me if a single active squirrel could do as much to tug a knot loose as any number of finches.

Focusing on the knot, we have a close-up from the day the sock vanished, taken by niskiel at 8:13 a.m.:

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Unfortunately, it’s somewhat out of focus, making it hard to see much about the state of the knot. Interestingly, though, the following shot taken a couple of weeks earlier by berkteach, at 6:18 p.m. on May 15, shows what looks to me like an extra bit of “tail”, a little extra loose line above the knot, that was no longer there on the day the sock disappeared:

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Here’s a zoomed-in comparison, magnified 5X, of that May 15 image by berkteach, and the one from the day the sock disappeared where Roscoe had his guilty paw on the sock. The two shots are roughly comparable in terms of the camera’s orientation and zoom, though one should bear in mind that the lighting is different, given the different time of day when the two shots were taken:

It’s hard to say exactly what’s going on with the knot in those two photos, but it looks to me like the second one shows less “tail” than the first. Could it be that with the help of Roscoe’s tugging it finally gave way?

If that’s true, then it seems possible that the sock has spent the last week lying on the ground at the base of the pole, down at ground level under Craig’s bottlebrush. That is, unless a certain nefarious rodent, having tugged it free of its moorings, has since made off with it.

Craig apparently has been in New York this past week (see this item from blogger Donna Bogatin, for example: Craigslist’s Craig Newmark: ‘My life is a sitcom’), which could explain why the sock hasn’t been restored. Hopefully someone can take a look around for it soon, though. As you all know, I have a real soft spot for it. 🙂

2 Responses to “The Case of the Missing Sock Feeder”

  1. patriciainct says:

    How can I leave a note for Craig? Just Craig. Not the world. Any idea? I have some nice things to say just for him.

  2. elanus says:

    On his personal blog (at he lists his email address as

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