Monday, April 21, 2008
A Black Bear Ate My Yard
Over the years I've had plenty of non-avian visitors come to my feeders. Red, Gray and Northern Flying Squirrels, Skunks, Raccoons, Red Foxes and even some neighborhood dogs have tried for the suet and seed. Since I live near the woods, an occasional transient Black Bear has also sampled the offerings in the yard. Its annoying to have feeders knocked down and dragged around occasionally but its something anyone who feeds birds in Maine will probably deal with from time to time.
On the past couple nights, I've once again, been visited by a hungry bear looking for a little post hibernation repast. Unfortunately, the beast thoroughly trashed my yard on this go around....
The bruin hit the suet cages and a couple of the tube feeders on the first night. This wasn't the first time my suet cages have been pried open by a bear...I'll have to bend them back into something like a box and put some more zip-ties on them.
The tube feeders were crunched into little bits. They were 4 months old. I used to wail and gnash my teeth when this happened... now I go to my happy place and pretend I'm cheered the bear is helping to relieve me of the burden of these material possessions and the complexities their care creates in my life. Oooom..
Last night, the bear made his rounds right after dark and we watched him snuffling around in the snowbanks under the remaining feeders. I chased him away and brought in everything I could. I also swept the platform feeders off in an attempt to reduce the temptation of those.... It didn't work.
At sunup, I found two of my three platform feeders down and broken. I also found the bear had torn apart my stone fireplace to get to seed that got into crevices after I'd tossed it on for the birds.
The bear left a well packed trail through the snow right up to the feeders near our front door.
The rear track measured about 9 inches long.
To add one final ursine insult, the beast left a gigantic poop in the yard. Being a dutiful scientist, I measured that too. Also about 9 inches.