Last week’s news story about a local woman’s encounter with a bear while out walking prompted me to consider the responsibility we have in preventing this sort of event, which resulted in the death of the bear.
In most cases, bears approach humans because they associate us with food. As one who delights in feeding birds, I’m very aware that what I intend for the birds may also be relished by bears. While bear sightings in my neighborhood are very rare, many neighborhoods along the Front Range extend into bear habitat. We would do well to take precautions.
Bears adore sugar water. I was thinking about that as I hung my hummingbird feeder for the first time this spring. Our feeders are on a second-story balcony, so I consider them out of reach of all but a most-determined bear. However, if yours are at ground level, consider bringing them in at night.
Being omnivores, bear will eat a wide variety of foods. Suet feeders, fruit and berries, and even seeds will attract them. Colorado’s Department of Wildlife website has a series of articles on living with bears. “Attracting Birds, not Bears” specifically targets the problem of birdfeeders. I encourage you to read it.