Exit, Destroyed by a Bear

Two days ago we had a visitor in our backyard who was drawn by the sunflower seeds. The visitor, unseen by us, came at night and with a mighty strength broke the pole and knocked over the bird feeder. As far as we know, there is only one animal in our woods that has the power to do this, and that animal is a bear. Black bears live in the woods all over Maine.

We have had an ursine visitor before, with the same results. Clif and I stopped feeding the birds for a while, and that took care of the problem.

We will do the same thing this time. Bears hibernate in the winter, and as soon as the snow and cold come, we’ll start feeding the birds again.

In the meantime, Clif will have to put in a new pole before the ground freezes. The actual feeder is in good shape, but the top was smashed into many pieces. We are hoping to be able to find a new top. Being frugal Mainers, we figure there is no point in replacing the whole thing if we don’t have to.

Living in the woods brings its excitements, and bears are one of them. Fortunately, black bears are rather shy, and we hardly ever see them. But every once in a while one emerges from the woods to snack on sunflower seeds.

And so it goes.



41 thoughts on “Exit, Destroyed by a Bear”

  1. We always have to watch out for black bears and grizzlies when we hike in the mountains (packing pepper spray and an air horn is imperative!), and every once in a while, they venture into the city (we live near a provincial park and wildlife such as bears, cougars, and bobcats are frequently spotted there). But we’ve never had one in our neighbourhood, let alone so close to the house. Really good idea not to feed the birds for a bit.

  2. What excitement! Good thing the kitties weren’t outside; they would have gladly given their lives to protect the homestead. Of course, Sherlock and Watson would have solved the crime with their brilliant deductions.

  3. Wow, to have bears so close by sounds amazing Laurie and I didn’t know they love sunflower seeds! Hope you’ll find a new top for your feeder soon πŸ€—πŸ’– xxx

  4. Oh, bummer! It may be inconvenient, but until the ground freezes in Dec, we bring the feeders in every night and put them out in the morning. Kind of a pain, but it is nice to see the birds flitting back and forth during the day. Hope yours is easily repaired.

  5. Wow – That is a really good reason to stop feeding for a while. Eliza has a good idea, to bring the feeders in at night. But I would never remember to do that every night.

  6. Well … a black bear in the garden… that seems a bit too close to home! I hope you can solve the problem by taking the bird feeder in at night. Does this mean there is not enough food ( at the moment) in the wild for bears?

    1. Life in the Maine woods! There is plenty of food in the woods right now, but the bears are putting on weight for hibernation, and I think those seeds were just too tempting.

  7. There were a lot of bears that came through the town we lived in back east. The town advised people not to put up bird feeders. Bird feeders were known as bear feeders. πŸ™‚

    Beekeepers out here, especially over in the Coast Range, have trouble with bears from time to time. Some people put up electric fencing, with a section of metal grid as a ground plate around the perimeter to help give the bear a good zap when he touches the electric wire. It was recommended hives be kept 3 feet inside the electric fence.

  8. There are sightings of black bear in Texas, now. They’re mostly in the eastern part, the Piney Woods, where they’re visiting from Louisiana. I’d love to see one, since the general consensus is that they’re a bit shy, and prone to avoid humans — unless those humans have set out a buffet table, of course! Grizzlies, on the other hand, are welcome to keep to themselves. I don’t even want a sighting of one of those, unless I’m in a car with a telephoto lens.

    Here’s it’s the raccoons that do in the feeders, and taking them in at night is an accepted (if tiresome) method of dealing with them.

    1. You got that right about grizzlies. I’m not too bothered by black bears, and I can’t really blame them when they want a tasty supper of sunflower seeds. My attitude wouldn’t be as casual if there were grizzlies in our woods. We have raccoons here, too, and they often help themselves to seed. Life in the woods!

  9. I’ve enjoyed the photos you have shared of that fabulous bird feeder and hope you’re able to find new parts soon! My table was flipped over the other night and something keeps taking the bowls into the woods, but I can’t imagine wondering if it was a bear. How often have you seen one over the years?

  10. I’m very glad I don’t have visiting bears in my garden! I hope you are able to find a new top to your feeder and you don’t get too many more unwelcome guests in your yard.

  11. We have had similar problems with ursines, Laurie. Our solution: Bring in the feeders at night, and put them back out in the morning. That way, we don’t tempt nighttime visitors, and our birds don’t go hungry.

  12. Hi, Laurie – Woods surround our home, so we also share our neighbourhood with bears. Luckily, our bears also remain elusive (at least to me), which I am delighted with)!
    I’m sorry to hear about the damage to your bird feeder…but sunflower seeds are delicious! πŸ˜€

    1. Yes, indeed! Got some good tips from other blogging friends. Clif plans to fix the feeder this week, and we will bring the feeder in at night, when the bear comes looking for supper. πŸ˜‰

    1. Not too scary. Black bears are shy and reclusive. If you live in the woods in Maine, you must share it with black bears, and most of the time, it works out just fine.

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