Author Topic: Bear Necessity  (Read 1423 times)

Ann

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Bear Necessity
« on: May 13, 2023, 00:28:21 »
We were told that Bears will raid bird-feeders if they contain black sunflower seeds so we bought some white seeds of a different species but it seems that white seeds will suffice when there is nothing better.

Breakfast activities in my garden yesterday resulted in a bird feeder being totally destroyed and bent into a pretzel by this young Black Bear:









Having devoured every seed from three containers, he surveyed the wreckage:





before he sauntered back into the forest:



It was interesting that although he was perfectly aware that I was standing only a few yards from him, he was much too busy breakfasting to chase me away.


Akira

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Re: Bear Necessity
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2023, 02:57:40 »
Welcome back, Ann, with such scary pictures!  Am relieved to make sure that YOU didn't end up his breakfast.   :o :o :o
"The eye is blind if the mind is absent." - Confucius

"Limitation is inspiration." - Akira

mxbianco

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Re: Bear Necessity
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2023, 05:26:55 »
The key words here are perfectly aware.

Alto Adige-Südtirol is bear country in Italy, in recent times a jogger was killed by a female bear when he crossed paths with her, and caught her by surprise. He should have worn a bell or other noise-producing item. On the contrary, a bear is perfectly fine with humans as long as he/she perceives their presence in advance.
 
Seems you didn't have to use a tele lens, but get ready to buy more bird feeders, as the bear will come back for more! Maybe with his mommy and brothers...

Ciao from Massimo
Since evolution has given us TWO ears and ONE mouth, we are supposed (me included) to be doing more listening than talking.

Øivind Tøien

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Re: Bear Necessity
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2023, 06:38:51 »
The key words here are perfectly aware.

Alto Adige-Südtirol is bear country in Italy, in recent times a jogger was killed by a female bear when he crossed paths with her, and caught her by surprise. He should have worn a bell or other noise-producing item. On the contrary, a bear is perfectly fine with humans as long as he/she perceives their presence in advance.
 
Seems you didn't have to use a tele lens, but get ready to buy more bird feeders, as the bear will come back for more! Maybe with his mommy and brothers...

Ciao from Massimo

I would strongly advice against buying more bird feeders, just to keep feeding the bears. Rather remove the bird feeders and keep garbage and other potential food sources safe out of the way when the bears get into their active season. Around here unfortunately a large proportion of the bears that get used to humans and habituated to seek out garbage cans and bird feeders will eventually become too much of a risk to have around, and wildlife authorities end up having to euthanize them.
 
My research projects have been able to get some of those bears and instead study them in our facilities, but it is no lasting solution for the bears as they cannot be released back into the wild and will eventually have to be euthanized, although then for a little less meaningless purpose, contributing to our understanding of bears and hopefully also let us learn tricks that can benefit human health.
Øivind Tøien

mxbianco

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Re: Bear Necessity
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2023, 07:00:45 »
I would strongly advice against buying more bird feeders, just to keep feeding the bears.

I meant, be prepared for another vandalizing of your bird feeder, as the bear will come back for more...

Maybe changing bird feeder model to a suspended model (at least 3 m from the ground). Birds will not mind, you might lose your preferred observation point (kitchen window?), but then bears will be discouraged and lose the habit of visiting your terrain.

BTW, the killer Ma Bear (and her cubs) has been captured and they have to decide whether to suppress it or donate it to someone willing to host it. A battle is in progress on the subject. Anyone interested google "Orsa JJ4"

Ciao from Massimo
Since evolution has given us TWO ears and ONE mouth, we are supposed (me included) to be doing more listening than talking.

ColinM

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Re: Bear Necessity
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2023, 11:40:53 »
What a lovely and eye-opening series Ann
Great to have you back.

It was also fascinating and chastening to be reminded of the effects  we can sometimes have on our wildlife companions Øivind

Anthony

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Re: Bear Necessity
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2023, 12:56:45 »
Nice neighbour you have, Ann.
Anthony Macaulay

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Re: Bear Necessity
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2023, 15:58:02 »
Ann, +1 from me;  good to see you back.  Clearly you are "bearing up"!  ;D

Welcome back, Ann, with such scary pictures!  Am relieved to make sure that YOU didn't end up his breakfast.   :o :o :o
Hugh Gunn

Ann

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Re: Bear Necessity
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2023, 22:51:32 »
Thank you all so much for your exceedingly kind and interesting comments.

I took a few shots through the kitchen window when I first saw him but I was not getting the results I wanted so I hoped that I could move outside without frightening him away.

I crept out through a side door and moved slowly but he saw me immediately.

After giving me a long stare, when he must have decided that I presented no threat, he carried on eating for the next 30 minutes so giving me this amazing opportunity to observe and photograph him.

This was probably a one-off opportunity because unfortunately he probably won't come back because we are now only putting small Niger seeds (which Goldfinches like and bears apparently do not) in the feeder.

Bill De Jager

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Re: Bear Necessity
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2023, 23:51:28 »
Welcome back, Ann, and thanks for sharing your photos.

...a bear is perfectly fine with humans as long as he/she perceives their presence in advance.

That depends on the species of bear and sometimes on regional differences within a species.  Here in North America the American black bear shown in this thread is usually not dangerous if it knows you are around, but there can be exceptions.  The larger grizzly bear and Alaska brown bear, technically the same species as the Eurasian brown bear found in Europe, are more dangerous though they seldom attack people who have given warning of their presence and who maintain an adequate distance (as determined by the bear).  The key point is that every bear has its personal space that you must not intrude into even if the bear is aware of you.  Beyond that, predatory attacks on people by both species do occur, though very seldom with the black bear.

armando_m

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Re: Bear Necessity
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2023, 03:41:44 »
What a great come back!
Armando Morales
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Ann

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Re: Bear Necessity
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2023, 19:13:36 »
Bill and Armando,

Thank you for your very knid and interesting comments.

My house is surrounded by forest and adjoins a nature reserve so we do see quite a wide range of wild creatures in the garden but this is the first time that I have managed to photograph a Black Bear and he gave me quite a performance.

Perhaps it is fortunate that we don't have the much larger Brown bears (which can be exceedingly dangerous) in this area because I don't think that I could restrain myself from wanting to photograph them if I had the chance.


Erik Lund

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Re: Bear Necessity
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2023, 11:47:13 »
Ann,  I recall you had several similar incidents on our first encounter in South Africa and Swaziland with the wildlife  ;D 8) Good to see you here, great images
Erik Lund

Ann

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Re: Bear Necessity
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2023, 03:09:18 »
Erik:
Thank you for your kind comments. You referred, I think, to a certain evening when I wandered off alone into the forest at night in pursuit of photographs, and got lost?!

Concerning Bears: we seem to have a plethora of them which we have never had before in this area.
Mine came back, found an empty bird-feeder so bent it into a pretzel in apparent revenge.

Then yesterday, at a friends pool party, 14 of us had just finished lunch (and fortunately had cleared away all food) when a fully-grown huge male black bear came into their garden — and passed right beside the lunch table which we had just vacated.