Opinion

Birdfeeders attract bears

There’s much ado about bears right now, as the cute, cuddly precious little blacks bears are wiping the sleep from their chocolate brown eyes and wandering the land for a bite to eat. On the hunt for berries and nuts, the creatures are finding a smorgasbord of goodies easily within reach in North Enders’ backyards. The food of choice is birdseed, and of this there is plenty.

Bears are raiding backyard birdfeeders like a 3-year-old goes after chicken nuggets. And who can blame the bear? Birdfeeders offer maximum reward for minimal effort. Bears are terrific climbers; they climb to the birdfeeder and lick the seeds right out. Birdfeeders are like free vending machines for bears. And the vending is good. Well, it is for the bears.

While there haven’t been any serious people/bear conflicts yet, it’s best just to avoid the situation entirely. Generally speaking, if you’re looking out your window to see how many bluejays are feasting on the birdseed you’ve set out for them and see a bear eating it instead, let it be. Let it do what it wants to do and it will move on.

But that’s never our first inclination.

Each time a person sees a bear — it’s usually when the bear is going after a birdfeeder or a dish of dog or cat food — the person panics and calls another group of people, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, to come get said bear. While that’s good, because Fish and Wildlife likes to keep numbers on bear sightings, here’s a better idea: stop inviting the bears into your backyard by putting out birdfeeders or pet food. Or, only put out a birdfeeder or pet food if you have a fence around your backyard.

Odd concept, for sure. But it makes sense.

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