I live in the woods and we have so many different bird species here. When we first moved into our house, I put out a bunch of bird feeders, one for my goldfinches, a couple feeders for other birds, even a squirrel feeder (so they don't attack the bird feeders). Well that was pretty short lived unfortunately. With living in the woods comes *Bears*. Big furry hungry domesticated black bears that aren't scared of people.
Brian and I used to watch through our sliding glass door or kitchen window and admire the many birds that came to feast on the "Nut and Berry" or "Thistle" seed I happily put out for them. Birdwatching is so peaceful. They are such beautiful creatures. My husband and I even went on a birdwatching day trip one time, it was so much fun!
So ... thinking about all of this made me remember why we can no longer put any bird feeders out. Black bears in our area love Birdseed. Seems weird right? Well, it smells good and let's face it, a feeder hanging from a deck or tree is like a free buffet for them - so why not indulge?!
One day about 5 years ago, I heard the most peculiar noises on my deck. I turned around and looked out the kitchen window, expecting to see a few birds -
But NO! What did I see???
Mr. Bear was in the middle of ripping down my bird feeders and feasting on nut and berry seed. I screamed at him, and he looked at me like "Don't bother me" and went about his business. My husband said the bear was about 400 pounds. Brian went out on the deck and banged some pots & pans together (that's what the police tell you to do and it does work!).
He finally decided we were annoying him enough and got down...
He lumbered down the deck stairs over to the neighbor's yard...Take note of the destroyed Squirrel feeder on the tree. That is Mr. Bear's handy work too.
After the bear episodes, I made the futile attempt to repair my feeders and keep putting seed out. But the bear came back nightly to indulge. We finally decided enough was enough. We had to take everything down and retire the feeders. I was very upset since we really enjoyed the birds daily. But who wants to have a black bear wandering around your house? And we have to worry about the dog too. Bears are a fact of life up here but if you don't leave anything outside that's enticing for them (like garbage cans, bird feeders, etc...), then they won't bother you.
Since we took down the feeders 5 years ago, we no longer see bears around. Maybe 2 in the past five years. The downside is, we don't see many birds around since we don't feed them any longer. One day when we move, I look forward to feeding the birds again and teaching Julianna how amazing birds are and I hope she will love the birds like Brian and I do!
Some birds we have here:
Red Belly Woodpeckers
Red Winged Blackbirds
Wild Turkeys (they do not eat from the feeders LOL)