"We have a black bear in our woods"
Because of the field and sportsman's cameras available today , we often have land owners mention to us that they have a bear on their property! This can be somewhat exciting, as well as, a situation in which you may want to make a few changes concerning your immediate yard surroundings.
The black bear is one of Michigan's wild woodland animals. According to experts, it is estimated that the population is over 15,000 adult bears in Michigan, with 9,700 across the upper UP and the 5,300 in the northern Lower Peninsula. They naturally forage the woods for food, eating berries, acorns, nuts, honey, insects and occasionally, small animals.
They are typically shy, but, they have a great sense of smell and are drawn to all food sources, especially easy food sources. This includes your bird feeders! And, not only your bird feeders but any garbage and pet foods stored outdoors.
If a black bear finds an easy food source it will return and you do not want this. You do not want them to form a habit or lose their fear of humans. You want to keep the bear in the woods. Because they are wild they are also unpredictable!
"There's a bear in our yard!"
For many years (and before we knew better), we fed the birds. Winter and summer, all year long, we would fill those feeders with sunflower seeds. Watching the birds was enjoyable and it was nice being surrounded by their songs. plus we just felt good about feeding the birds.
One day we had a bear visit our feeder. Our son Wayne proclaimed "There's a bear in our yard!". We all rushed out of the house, onto the deck, and watched as the bear ran into the woods. We then walked over to where the bear had been and the bird feeder was. The bird feeder was lying on the ground, top off, and empty. Sunflower seed shells were all over and you could see where the bears claws had scrapped the ground, removing grass and leaving bare dirt as he picked up the sunflower seeds. This was an eye opener to us!
We removed all bird feeders and after all these years, have not again seen a bear in our yard.
Just a note to you bird watchers...there are ways to enhance the bird population in your yard with out using bird feeders. Our bird population is wonderful and we maintain this by having several sources of water and a diverse assortment of plants and shrubs that provide food and shelter.
David & Valerie Zimmer
Buyers of standing timber and owners of Greater Michigan Timber Management, a Forest and Timber Management company located in the northern lower peninsula of Michigan.
Call us for all your forest management needs at
(989) 390-0705 or
We are happy to answer any question you may have.
Greater Michigan Timber Management. Buyers of standing timber. Specializing in sustainable forestry management and sound stewardship practices.
Greater Michigan Timber Management: The timber management company that cares!