Wednesday, May 7, 2008

the bear facts please...

Well guess who is back? No I didn't take this picture. It is courtesy of, a source of public domain photos, royalty free.

Our previous bear visit was on Friday night. Things were quiet for a few nights and then we were revisited last night. It was a late night as my husband and I were both clicking away on our computers until about 1:00 a.m. I looked in the backyard before heading upstairs to bed and all was well. I was up just after 6:00 a.m. to find that our feeder poles were bent again. We have been putting the feeders inside at night but the bear found one that was left out in the side garden.

I went surfing the net today and found all sorts of info on black bears - some I knew, most I didn't.

Did you know that:

- black bears are omnivorous, have a sense of smell 7 times greater than a dog, are good swimmers and tree climbers, have colour vision, and they can also be different colours other than black (cinnamon brown, sliver blue and even white)

- they are highly intelligent (said to be on the level of large apes), and are very curious, they live 21 to 33 years, they have a navigation ability superior to humans, and they have excellent long term memory

- a lean bear can exceed 30 mph (fat bears in winter coats overheat and tire quickly - kind of like me in my heavy winter coat dashing about Christmas shopping)

-males weigh between 125 - 500 pounds and females between 90 - 300 pounds

- they are active half an hour before sunrise, take a nap or two during the day (definitely a sign of high intelligence!) and they bed down for the night an hour or two after sunset. Okay, so this means they are likely to be out and about during the day. And I had the back door wide open all day yesterday so the dog could go in and out. Oops.

- their range is smaller than I thought, just a few miles. They are the smallest of bear species in North America, they are not vicious and they do not kill humans to defend their cubs (those are grizzly bears), they are silent and they only growl in the movies.

As our bear has an excellent memory, he/she isn't going to forget our backyard. We are going to be extra vigilant with our bird feeding practices as well as the use of our composter. We are going to set up our motion detector water sprayer (it is sold to keep deer and other animals out of gardens, if the sensor detects a creature it gets a soaking by the sprayer hooked up to a hose) and I have my flashlight and camera ready.

Knowing that it is likely to be active in the day caused me to be peering out the studio window today and I confess I jumped at every creaking tree limb and twig snap at lunch time when I was out doing some planting in the garden. It might be able to run 30 miles per hour but I can't!

Our dog is most indignant to have his territory invaded by such a large wild creature. He is a dominant male and he wasn't happy about (pardon my language) the pile of poop the bear left by a rear feeder. The pooping wars are on!

Anyway, enough about my bear visits...don't miss yesterday's post - check out the May newsletter if you haven't already.


Paulette said...

Hi Teresa,
The rose is looking really great, can't wait to see more.
Cool facts about the bears. My Aunt in Northern Michigan is dealing with bears getting in her feeders too.

Teresa Mallen said...

Hi Paulette,

Thanks for stopping by and for the encouraging words. The rose is almost done so I shall be posting it soon!