Remove your bird feeder before the bears find it - WNEM TV 5

Remove your bird feeder before the bears find it

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Source: DNR Source: DNR

Warmer temps, more daylight hours and green plants have wildlife on the move.

But a simple move could help keep bears out of your backyard.

Michigan’s black bear is a species that gains a lot of attention and increased calls to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

"Everyone has a different point when they are going to pick up the phone and call us,” said DNR wildlife communications coordinator Katie Keen. “The majority of calls we receive about bears involve a bird feeder that has been visited multiple times. Taking the feeder down before it’s found by a bear can eliminate future problems. A bear doesn’t forget a free meal.”  

Keen said that the easiest thing people living in bear country can do to avoid problems is remove bird feeders during the spring and summer months.

There are an estimated 2,000 adult bears in the Lower Peninsula, and almost 10,000 in the Upper Peninsula.

Bears find bird seed and suet especially attractive because of their high fat content compared to other natural food sources.

Once a bird feeder is discovered, a bear will keep coming back until the seed is gone or the feeder has been removed.

“Bears that receive a food reward when around homes, yards and neighborhoods typically lose their natural fear of humans and can become a threat to humans and pets,” said Keen. “If a bear walks through your property and no food reward is given, the bear will move along on its own. Help your community and keep bears at a distance. Bears are smart, so be smarter, and remove your bird feeders so you don’t attract bears to your property.”

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