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Black Bears Emerging From Hibernation


Time to take in bird feeders, at least at night. Black Bear sightings are being reported throughout northern New England, a bit earlier than usual probably due to the erratic weather we’ve been having. Adult males emerge from their dens first, females with cubs  last – the opposite order in which they entered in the fall.

Having survived the winter by living off the fat they accumulated last fall, Black Bears weigh considerably less upon waking. Males will typically drop between 15 and 30 percent of their body weight, while lactating mothers can lose up to 40 percent. Even so, for the first two or three weeks following hibernation, bears eat and drink less than they normally do, while their metabolism adjusts to the changes. This is referred to as “walking hibernation” by some biologists. Once normal activity resumes, and until herbaceous green shoots appear in wetlands, bird feeders  are a main attraction.

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5 responses

  1. Suzanne Weinberg

    We have had to take in our feeders at night all winter, as we had a bear in the neighborhood who never hunkered down. And, given their memory skills for food sources, we may need to do this for years to come.

    March 3, 2017 at 8:15 am

    • Alice Pratt

      Maybe on the “plus side”, the Bear didn’t get too hungry and wasn’t too grumpy, if it was finding food sources!

      March 3, 2017 at 8:51 am

  2. Karen Martin

    Hope those young cubs don’t remember where we live!

    Sent from my iPad


    March 3, 2017 at 7:43 pm

  3. Sandi Holland

    Just FANTASTIC!!!xoxsandi >

    March 4, 2017 at 4:42 pm

  4. Smithy

    What a great photo! And info – thanx!!

    March 5, 2017 at 5:31 pm

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