Wednesday, February 2, 2011

An old friend ...

This redundant cold & snowy weather has me daydreaming about springtime... I am dreaming of colorful flowers, blooming leaves on the trees, green grass, sunny skies, and singing birds. I love birds. Carla over at Jansen Family Adventures gave me the idea to post about this. (Thanks Carla!)
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:
Pileated Woodpeckers
Red Belly Woodpeckers
Hairy Woodpeckers
Downy Woodpecker
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Barn Owls
Purple Finch
Red Winged Blackbirds
Wild Turkeys (they do not eat from the feeders LOL)


  1. The bears by us totally destroy our garbadge cans, and then drag full garbage bags up on the mountain behind our house. Last year we saw them so often that we called the department of wild life. Its scary to have the kids outside when there is a bear that is no longer afraid of anything. They told up to have the kids wear a whistle around their necks while playing outide! Anyway I do feel bad for the bears everything is so built up around here now ... they almost look lost when you see them up close.

  2. OMG, I can't believe that scary! I would have flipped out. Wow, it would be so cool to live where you live...looks beautiful.

  3. Oh my goodness! Yikes, how scary! I would have flipped!

  4. OMG, that's incredible! The only terrifying creatures we have are ugly possums, scaredy-cat coyotes, and terrifying squirrels.although frightening, that bear is beautiful!

  5. Yeah, when you say a big bear, you mean a BIG BEAR! That guy is huge! Awesome pictures! and a very fun read...thanks for sharing!


  6. Here I thought we had it bad with the Giant Possums that we have getting into our garbage.

  7. Oh my gosh! That is crazy but such a great photo op! Awesome! xo

  8. OMG!! Being from the south, Ive never seen a bear in real life, aside from at the zoo. I can't even imagine! How neat and scary. :]

  9. Jamie - Yeh we keep our garbage in the basement until it's ready to go out for the garbage truck the morning of - and the bears seem to leave us alone. I seriously can not wait to move away from NJ.

    Karen - Thanks, it is nice here especially in the summer. Very lush and green and mountainy.

    Aimee & Kari - Yeh they are frightening - kind of cute at first til you realize they can eat you (well, that hasn't happened yet, only someone's dog got killed about 45 mins north of us)

    Carla - Thanks, yeh he was a big dude! Haha!

    Amanda- Possums can be pretty nasty too! Sometimes worse! LOL

    Ashley - Yeh - see the headline now "Homeowner gets eaten by bear while trying to get a good photo"

    Hollie -Yeh tell me about it. We plan on moving South soon and I hear we are in for some other things like real big furry spiders (ahhhhh!)

  10. Oh. My. Goodness. Is this for real? There is a real live bear outside your home!? Wow!

  11. Kitten - Oh yes. Live & too close for comfort.


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