May 04, 2006

Bird-feeder Bear

The dogs barked in the night. At least Shelby did, a few "woofs." I think that Jack, the elderly Chessie, was deep in sleep in his kennel crate by our bed.

In the morning, the evidence. We have four hanging birdfeeders at different places in the small Gambel oak trees in front of the house: two plastic tube-style feeders for niger thistle seeds and two house-shaped wooden feeders for sunflower seeds.

One of the wooden feeders bore signs of being smacked by a bear paw. The nearest thistle feeder was simply gone.

This has happened before. Every few years one of the local bears develops a taste for sunflower seed. Then all summer long we must take in the feeders at night and put them out again in the morning. Last summer was one of those times, so I am tempted to think that the same individual bear is making its rounds after dark, but, really, who knows?

One more I repaired the wooden feeder with Gorilla Glue and drywall screws. I looked around for the plastic tube feeder but found no sign of it.

I have this image of a bear walking through the woods with a Duncraft thistle feeder in its mouth like a stick of candy. (Something like this but without the plastic dome.)

Some people claim to sell "bear-proof" feeders. I'm skeptical. I think you would have to make them of concrete and sheet steel.


Anonymous said...

Conhece o cão Serra da Estrela,o Lavrador,Serra d´Aire? São raças portugesas.Cães de guarda excepcionais.Bons amigos e companheiros.

Chas S. Clifton said...

Most American stockmen use some variety of Scottish-English collie or Australian dogs (which come from the same roots) for herding dogs.

The most common protection dogs are either Great Pyranees or the Hungarian Komondor.

Alyson Wilson said...

I love your post about the bear getting into your bird feeder... It makes me miss my days living north of Ketchum, Idaho, "in the woods." Now I live in L.A. and still have a bear of a time fighting the raccoons away from my goldfish pond, but somehow it's not the same! I found your blog while surfing outdoor blogs at work (I'm the content director for a new Web site called that won't be released until July). It's great to read about your way of life, though I have a feeling I'm one of the only members of your reader community who has to through police helicopters overhead and fire engine sirens rather than bear visitations!