Backyard Chirper

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Bird feeders still in danger of hungry bears in fall

The arrival of spring also means the arrival of bears looking for a big meal after a few months of limited activity. However, what many people don’t know is that fall is another time when bears are aggressively tracking down easy meals to bulk up for the winter.

A quick Google news search of bird feeders reveals many cases of bears destroying bird feeders to get the delicious seed inside. That means if you live in bear country, you’re not out of the woods yet.

Those who live in places where bear populations are high are strongly encouraged to take bird feeders down when bears are most active (spring and fall). Although September and October are the months officials say it’s fine to start putting feeders back up, you might want to wait a little longer.

There are currently very active and hungry birds tearing apart feeders in a number of locations. For example, Rich Colbert saw a black bear in his backyard in Bristol, Conn. tear down his bird feeder and devour the seed. About a month before, the bear did the same thing to the feeders, including a hummingbird feeder, around his house. Bears are very intelligent, so if they know they can get an easy meal somewhere, they will keep coming back.

As much as you probably don’t want to, if there are bears frequenting your yard, you need to either take down the feeders or make them bear-proof to discourage bears from entering yards. The bolder bears get, the more likely they will have a run-in with humans. The feeders aren’t the only things harmed by bears. Sometimes the bears themselves have to be put down for entering the yard.

In California, a woman saw a bear devouring the seed from her bird feeders, while another man in the same area had his home invaded by a hungry bear.

With winter quickly approaching and bears on the lookout for food, bird feeder owners should be extremely vigilant about where they put their feeders, especially if they’re in an area frequented by bears.

If you need some additional advice, check out our article on how to protect your bird feeders from bears.

Timothy Martinez Jr. is a writer and freelance journalist. His work has been published in The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Remapping Debate in New York City and other publications. He’s been a bird lover since he was young and currently lives in New Orleans, L.A.