IMG_7426IMG_7430Even though our local bear reliably shows up sometime in the first week of April, I am reluctant to take the feeders in. Well, he/she is right on schedule, having paid us a visit last night. So ends bird feeding for another season.

To help compensate, the almost-full moonย looks beautiful tonight…

About Eliza Waters

Gardener, writer, photographer, naturalist
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94 Responses to Uh-Oh…

  1. BeeHappee says:

    Wow… Look at that little Cardinal checking out the damage. It is beautiful to see the Bear announce the spring.

  2. karen says:

    Goodness, I only have to battle with the squirrels in my garden. Can’t imagine having bears!!!! What a wonderful place you live in though. Those colourful birds look so beautiful. All the best. Karen X

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Karen. All the birds will only have leftovers on the ground for the rest of season. Bears hibernate in December when we can hang the feeders again.

  3. MK says:

    Poor bear must be quite famished. Kind of you & your feathered friends to oblige.
    And the moon looks like a blessing.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Yes, I expect a three+month fast would make me famished, too! ๐Ÿ˜‰
      The clear skies have made good moon viewing (and strolling). ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Jim R says:

    The metal hook was bent over pretty bad. I am happy to not have bears to contend with. Raccoons and squirrels are bad enough.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Yes, they win this fight. I don’t bother trying. We’ve tried bringing the feeders in at night, but that gets old, and sooner or later we forget one night.
      The pole was straightened (sort of) – this is the second time it was hit. Oh, well!

  5. maureenc says:

    Bears! Squirrels! Makes my nocturnal visitors (Flying foxes/fruit bats) and Brush tailed Possums seem so tame! ๐Ÿ˜‰ My Paw Paw tree has fruit ripening so the visitors will increase very shortly

  6. Looks familiar from back in the day. Still, I’d take that kind of destruction over shooting them while they hibernate. Another White House miracle. Of the darkest kind. :*(

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Well, at least Mass. laws haven’t changed. We’ve some decent F&W officers around here who try to work around and with the wildlife, but we have plenty of wilderness here for them. Of course, yahoos exist everywhere. If an encounter happens in a heavily populated area, the ending isn’t always pretty.

  7. You had me at ‘local bear’…
    (And he had a nice late-night mini snack ๐Ÿ™‚ )

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Yes, making the rounds of all the bird feeders is a rite of spring! It was a windy night, so I didn’t hear him. I used to hang a big wind chime near the feeders, so the clanging would alert me, but it wasn’t with it this time. I still might have ignored it anyway, thinking it was just the gale.

  8. Must be quite thrilling to know that Bear is out of hibernation and doing the rounds and in a previous post you also mentioned bobcat. Guessing that there is healthy respect for keeping good distances and hope you’ve not had any close-up encounters?

    • Eliza Waters says:

      No close encounters, thankfully. Most of the wild animals around here wisely scram when humans show up. Anything that doesn’t run is suspected of rabies and shot. Sad, but true, no trial or jury involved. That’s why I reinforce their fear by yelling and waving my arms, because many other people around here own guns and don’t mind a chance to use them. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  9. Alice Pratt says:

    I would not be ‘beary’ happy. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I would stubbornly be trying to outsmart Bear, by rigging up a bird feeder that it couldn’t reach.

  10. The timing of bears, birds and the full moon is always perfect, even when we are not ready ๐Ÿ’•๐ŸŒ˜๐ŸŒ—โ˜€๏ธ

  11. Widdershins says:

    A bear necessity, eh? ๐Ÿ˜€

  12. Cathy says:

    And I thought squirrels were troublesome! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Does your bear only visit in spring or do you see him/her later in the year too?

    • Eliza Waters says:

      This one (presuming it is the same) tends to hit a circuit of feeders around the area (remarkably they remember food sources from year to year) and then we don’t really see it again. But we stop feeding the birds, too, so the only thing is a few vegetable scraps in the compost bin.

  13. I did not know that bears will eat the bird food, I guess when they emerge they’ll eat anything. Where I work one of the dogs, a pug steals the bird food and it walks round barrel chested where it swells in his stomach. Not quite the same!

  14. Your bear makes our badger or whatever look pretty tame.

  15. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    I expect that bear is hungry after it’s winter sleep. Lovely moon!

  16. srickman2014 says:

    Wow he really did a number on your feeder! I am happy to see that your snow is finally gone. Happy spring to you! ๐ŸŒป

    • Eliza Waters says:

      We’ve had a warm week and expect all of the snow in the yard will be gone in a few more days, a bit longer in the woods. I’m really happy it is warming up at last!

  17. Well, now, I think I could quickly respond to that message. ๐Ÿ™‚ We certainly have plenty of black bears here in the state but am happy to say I haven’t seen any on our property. What we have is a plethora of squirrels and chipmunks – small but destructive.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Luckily, this one seems to just make the rounds first thing, then disappear into the woods for the rest of the season. If I do happen to hear/see one, I stand on the deck or front porch and clang pan lids and holler to scare it off. They get the idea that they aren’t welcome. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. Robin says:

    Wow. It’s a pretty clear announcement, isn’t it? Must be a very hungry bear. I would be, too, if I’d been hibernating all winter.
    Beautiful moon shots. ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Do you have coyotes too? They skip the bird feed and go for small pets.

  20. Rita Pichette says:

    It’s a fine line as to timing, isn’t it? I won this year……just finished the seed & took everything in the other day.

  21. Darn…those ever predictable and timely Bears ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. dorannrule says:

    It is surely bear season and thanks for reminding me about the bird feeders. We are “overpopulated” with bears in this part of Virginia, and the county leaders plotting a 25% reduction. Sad, but true.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      It is a sad thing. It is a good idea to reduce the temptations (feeders, garbage cans, no food left in cars) to reduce the liklihood of human/bear interactions. The bear always loses.

  23. arlingwoman says:

    Oh my. Coming out of the den hungry enough to try to fill up on bird seed! Glad there was nothing else out there!

  24. Brian Skeys says:

    Makes my badgers seem like ‘pussycats’!

  25. Kris P says:

    And here I complain about raccoons, squirrels and skunks! The squirrels only steal seed and the others seem to ignore the bird feeders entirely so I’m luckier than I realized. I feel bad for the cardinal but I hope the plants in the surrounding area quickly fill the gap left by the feeder’s removal as your weather warms.

  26. Val Boyko says:

    Nature is in charge isn’t she? Love this post Eliza ๐Ÿ’›

  27. rickii says:

    A downtown Portland blogging friend had a bear siting in her yard last year. We’re on the outskirts and found what we believed to be some scat but nothing further. Living with wildlife is always a challenge, but one we welcome.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Our interfaces have been peaceful so far, with lots of sightings at respectful distances. Over nearly 27 years, the worst has been a cat and dog getting sprayed by a skunk and same dog with a mouthful of quills. Not too bad!

  28. I get our DNR updates, and last week they had to start taking in feeders here in Wisconsin where there are bears. We’re pretty bear-free, except for some that wander in every now and then (though I suspect it’s only a matter of time before we have regular bears as they move south).

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Since the 70s there has been a ten-fold increase in this state. More a problem in the Boston suburbs than here. People just have to be smart about wildlife, esp. not feeding them even inadvertently. Our garbage is stored in the garage, I don’t raise corn anymore and never get blueberries before the critters do, but I can live with that. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I wonder what the increase is around here. I can remember (years ago) when everyone was shocked that there were bears moving in about an hour north of here. A few years later, the DNR was pooh-poohing people seeing bears just west of town. Turns out, the bears had arrived in our part of the state a lot faster than expected (and people who live in the country are correctly able to identify bears when they see them, despite the DNR’s disbelief).

      • Eliza Waters says:

        Kind of hard to mistake identifying a bear!

      • It is – though I ALWAYS think they are big black dogs when I first see them. Even when I am somewhere it would make no sense to see a dog, like alongside a Canadian road in the middle of nowhere.

      • Eliza Waters says:

        The brain is a funny thing, sometimes!

  29. Denzil says:

    Goodness me! Having never seen a wild bear, nor lived in an area where they live, bears have always seemed rather wild and mysterious to me, so having one in the garden must be thrilling, and maybe a little bit scary too! Is it a brown, black, grizzly? Do you see it during the day? Do you get anxious when in the garden?

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Hi Denzil. We have black bears here in the East (no grizzlies thankfully!) and they are quite shy of people and mostly nocturnal. Occasionally one will visit during the day, which is exciting (esp. for the dog!). I do my best not to let them feel comfortable around people. An emboldened bear can be dangerous. Generally, I don’t worry about encountering wildlife in the yard. I’ve never felt threatened by an animal, but I don’t test them either, esp. if they have young with them that they need to protect. Rabies is another thing we have to be aware of, but the animal usually acts strangely, alerting us to contact the animal officer. Thankfully, I’ve never had to deal with such a case.

  30. Laurie Graves says:

    When you live in the woods in New England…

  31. A sure sign of spring I guess. Lovely moon shots!

  32. Kathy Sturr says:

    Whoa! That’s what bear carnage looks like? Wow. I can’t wait to get home and fill my feeders! Leaving in just four days. I think I will get home to daffodils this year Eliza!

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Haha, yes, we got off easy this time. A very considerate bear. ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Have a safe return journey, I hope you have good weather and the flowers abundantly welcome you home!

  33. Peter/Outlaw says:

    I thought that March was supposed to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb. What’s with the bear? Exciting that spring has arrived but sorry that the birds have lost their buffet during nesting time. Gee, Winnie the Pooh ate honey. Didn’t realize that he liked birdseed too:) Spring makes us so happy we can bearly bear it!

    • Eliza Waters says:

      ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks, Peter. I do wish I could continue to feed the birds – esp. during the breeding season when they are extra beautiful, like the goldfinches. One would have to build an electric fence around a feeder and that seems a bit much for me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  34. Chloris says:

    Goodness, what exotic wildlife you have. Scary to have bears. What happens if you come nose to nose when you are weeding?

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Well, I would be very surprised if one came upon me that closely! Being nocturnal, we rarely see them, and being usually shy of humans, they move off when they see or smell us. As they are very large (200-300+ lbs.), you can usually hear them coming, crashing through the undergrowth, so you can shout at them to turn them back. It is really rare to actually see one.

  35. Jet Eliot says:

    Bears sure have a way of letting one know when they’ve visited. It’s great that you live in harmony with the bear, Eliza~~

  36. Oh my goodness!! I had no idea how contended with bears, Eliza! I thought raccoons were destructive. Now I will cherish my bird feeders even more. ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

  37. Maggie says:

    We have to take our feeders down at night because of the Bears that patrol our summer place… They don’t seem to show up until dusk.

  38. Cathy says:

    I’m so glad I don’t have to worry about meeting bears when I go into the garden … it kind of puts the voles into perspective! On your header are those buckets for maple syrup? What a brave little cardinal!

    • Eliza Waters says:

      I rarely actually see a bear and it is usually heading away from me, thankfully! The birds are oblivious to the bear’s destruction, just intent on finding the remaining seeds. And yes, those are maple buckets. Since maple season, brief as it is, is over, I need to update the header. Thanks for the reminder. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Cathy says:

        Oh – but they are so lovely. And we, on the other side of the Pond, will have no notion about when exactly your sap begins to rise!!

  39. Christy B says:

    Well the bear put an end to that ๐Ÿ˜‰ Loving the moon photos, Eliza!

  40. neihtn2012 says:

    Wow1 We don’t have a bear, yet, but the squirrels are almost equally as bad.

  41. Eliza , the next time I start to complain about our deer, I am going to remember your garden bear! That takes the prize for invasive wildlife in the garden !

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