Birds and Bears

There have not been as many bear sightings reported in the last two weeks. This doesn’t mean bears aren’t around, it could just mean that people aren’t reporting them to the RAPP line.

Crystal Leonard

Crystal Leonard

There have not been as many bear sightings reported in the last two weeks.

This doesn’t mean bears aren’t around, it could just mean that people aren’t reporting them to the RAPP line.

One picture I received was of bear scat that contained mostly seeds just outside some condos.

Of all the things that bears eat, people seem most shocked when I mention that bird feeders are a bear attractant.

But, when you think about it, a cup of bird seed or half a cup of sugar (which you would find in a hummingbird feeder), has approximately 300 calories.

That’s an easy, high-energy meal for a bear.

Seeds aren’t unusual for bears to eat in the wild.

They eat whitebark pine seeds and many fruits which contains seeds such as mountain ash, blackberries and raspberries.

When bears eat seeds in their natural environment they actually help the ecosystem.

Once the seeds go through the bear’s digestive system they then disperse through their scat, generating more growth of those trees and shrubs.

Bear Aware recommends that people take their birdfeeders down in March.

Bears may not come out until April, but taking the feeder down in March gives birds time to finish the seeds on the ground.

Food is plentiful for birds in the summer months and they don’t rely on bird feeders.

For all you birders out there, myself included, birdbaths, birdhouses, deciduous trees, snags or dead trees, and colourful flowers are some great ways to keep birds in your yard.

But be careful when planting berry bushes, as that’s also a natural food source for bears which may cause the bear to return year after year.

There are some great resources and options out there to attract birds.

And for those that refuse to take birdfeeders down or remove berry bushes, there are always electric fences. They won’t harm the birds but are quite effective in deterring bears.

Check out our website or send me an email if you would like more information on preventing bears getting into your backyard.

Remember: the best way to avoid conflict is to prevent it!

BCCF’s Bear Aware gratefully acknowledges funding by the Columbia Basin Trust, the MOE and the Communities of Invermere and Radium.

To report a bear sighting or incident call the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277

For more information on Bear Aware contact Crystal Leonard, Bear Aware Community Coordinator, at 250-688-1511 or by email at invermvere@bearaware.bc.ca or radium @bearaware.bc.ca. For more solutions check out the Bear Aware website at bearaware.bc.ca

Crystal Leonard

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