are bears attracted to bird feeders

Don’t “reward” bears for coming into your yard

Typically, wild black bears are wary of people and will avoid approaching them or their homes. On the other hand, easy access to bird seed “rewards” bears for conquering their innate fear of humans and increases the likelihood that they will return.

The sight and smell of your feeder will draw bears even if they are unable to reach it. Bears have been observed attempting to get down by spending hours sitting beneath feeders. While they’re pondering, they might glance around to see if your place has anything else worth seeing. Make sure you have properly bear-proofed your home, garage, and property, and exercise extra caution.

“Bear activity levels in Florida are at an all-time high from March through early to mid-December, after which they sharply decline.” So, from Christmas to St. Patrick’s Day, if there was a season when feeding birds here is acceptable, that would be it. ”.

David Telesco, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Coordinator of the Bear Management Program

are bears attracted to bird feeders

Weather and location can alter when bears enter hibernation. Furthermore, more bears are not hibernating deeply, if at all, because of warmer winters brought on by climate change and year-round access to food sources. Yet another reason to check locally where you live.

Woodford, who enjoys seeing Dark-eyed Juncos and Black-capped Chickadees spend the winter in Alaska, knows why people want to use bird feeders despite the dangers associated with them in bear country. “Having to take down the feeder in the spring always makes me a little depressed,” he says.

In many places, black bear populations are growing and so are bear-human interactions. As a result, bears are getting used to seeing people when they are looking for food. Bears are drawn to yards, porches, and even inside homes by bird feeders, trash, compost, barbecues, fish smokers, and pet food. Black bears are the most common offenders because of their extraordinary climbing abilities and greater tolerance for humans, but grizzlies also occasionally break into feeders.

In western Massachusetts, Geoff LeBaron used to enjoy watching Rose-breasted Grosbeaks at his backyard bird feeder. But a few years ago, unwelcome visitors began to appear: American black bears searching for quick, high-calorie meals.

Bears can smell seeds and hummingbird feeder nectar from miles away; Michelle Dennehy, a spokesman for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, refers to it as “energy drinks for bears.” Bears have noses five times as strong as human noses.

How to attract birds, not bears

Here are a few tried-and-true methods for drawing birds that don’t require feeding:


Do bird seed feeders attract bears?

There’s also no denying that bears are attracted to bird seed, as well as garbage, compost, fruit trees, berry bushes, barbeques, pet food and refrigerators/freezers stored outdoors. Nonetheless, bird feeders are a definite attractant in the plentiful “bear buffet” of our neighbourhoods.

How do you feed birds without attracting bears?

Since most bears can’t reach much beyond 10 feet, hang feeders so that the bottom of the feeder is at least 12-13 feet from the ground. The use of 150 lb. test down rigger wire is recommended.

Will bears go after hummingbird feeders?

Birdseed has lots of calories — over 18,000 in a typical 7-pound feeder. Hummingbird food does too: 32 ounces of nectar has 3,200 calories. So, bird feeders can be enticing sources of food for black bears.

Is there a bear proof bird feeder?

The BIRDS ONLY Feeder System positions your bird feeders far from the reach of bear, deer, squirrel, raccoon and other non-winged animals. EASY CLEANING! Now with this tested and proven system, you can enjoy peaceful year-round bird feeding!