This is what happens when you forget to take the bird feeder in at the end of the night. Our trail cam, purposely bought to catch such a perpetrator, captured the thief sitting down to a nice little snack.
We have a bear who visits our yard from time to time. He or she has on more than one occasion taken down our feeder, bending the steel pole all the way to the ground. We found the thistle feeder in the woods behind our house with piercing teeth marks in it. The suet feeder (the bear's main attraction) in 3 pieces strewn around the yard. And the empty bird-house feeder, lovingly handmade by a friend, bent and thrust into the soil and still attached to the pole.
Before this summer, we had been wondering what happened to our furry friend. The first year we moved in, 2017, we had a couple of great sightings as he wandered through our yard looking for food. That was before we got smart and started taking the bird feeder in at night.
This past August, I was cooking burgers on the grill while Sue and Natalie sat at the outside table in our yard. Just as I brought the burgers to the table, I heard a rustling in the bushes on the other side of the yard. And before I could say anything, I see a big bear head peering out of the bushes at us seemingly wondering what's for dinner and if there might be an extra burger for him. Needless to say, we grabbed everything off the table and with a quick yell of "Hey Bear!" we headed inside and he headed back to the woods.
So it's September and bears everywhere are scouring for food before taking the winter off. After a few nights of forgetting to bring in the feeder and nothing happening to it, I got lackadaisical. I left the feeder out on the night of the Harvest Moon, and the bear took full advantage. As soon as I saw the pole down, I was almost sure we had caught him on camera!
And there he is, sitting on the lawn like he's at a picnic. One paw is resting on the downed pole, the other surely helping himself to a treat. Eat up bear, winter's coming!