travel story- Bear in the yard- USA


On December 28, 2010 we looked out the window of my dad’s house and saw… a bear in the yard! He was just outside the house, only 12 ft from us. He was nosing around the ground under the bird feeder.
travel story- Bear in the yard- USA
At least we knew who this bear was. We’d seen him 2 days earlier wandering around the corn fields behind my dad’s house, much to our astonishment. We’d called the nearby state park rangers who’d informed us that bear had showed up at our neighbor’s farm and climbed into an open truck trailer. The kindly neighbors had fed him dog food and a deer carcass. Some rangers had visited, determined that bear suffered from mange, knocked him out and given him injections for the disease. Today we could clearly see bear’s mangy face. He also looked exceedingly thin and lethargic. Poor guy.
travel story- Bear in the yard- USA
bear’s mangy face

Apparently the rangers had also tagged him- metal clips were clearly visible on each ear. Bear had stayed in the trailer for 2 weeks and then been released right there on the property. I was surprised that they’d released him in a residential area. Why not take him to one of several nearby state parks? In any event,  today we weren’t overly astonished to see him since we were aware of his presence in the area.

travel story- Bear in the yard- USA
bear spying the bird feeder

After nosing around the ground a while bear sat up on his hind legs and looked straight up. He spied the bird feeder directly above. Next thing we knew, he walked over to the tree trunk, stood up against it and… climbed right on up. He moved up quickly and with ease. Within moments he was up the tree climbing out onto the limb…

travel story- Bear in the yard- USA

Surprisingly, the tree limb held his weight! Bear went way out on the limb, looked down at the bird feeder, then reached down and pulled it up with his paws.

He promptly stuck his nose inside the feeder and began eating seeds. Sadly for him, when he tilted the feeder, most of the seeds fell to the ground. He watched them fall ground before continuing to eat the seeds remaining in the feeder.
bear looking down at bird feeder
travel story- Bear in the yard- USA
Eventually he must’ve finished the seeds because he dropped the feeder, returned to the tree trunk and climbed back down.
travel story- Bear in the yard- USA
bear climbing down the tree
He set about eating the fallen seeds. He stayed a long time slowly licking and eating. He even got down on all four paws, folding his front paws in cat style, while he ate. May as well get comfy.
travel story- Bear in the yard- USA
bear scrounging bird seeds
I threw out a half bag of bird seed which landed about six feet from bear. He looked over at it several times but never did investigate. Dag, he missed a much bigger meal which was a pity.  Bear looked pretty thin for winter. He stayed so long licking and eating seeds that my dad eventually went outside and scared him off- simply by yelling at him. Rangers had given that advice when my dad had called after bear’s arrival.
travel story- Bear in the yard- USA
It was certainly an unusual and exciting end-of -year experience. My dad has been living in that house for over 30 years but had never before had a bear visit his yard. I regarded it as a lucky end of year charm.
Reporting from the road, Lash


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  1. Suzy

    Amazing photographs Lash! Where is your Dad's house? That's pretty remarkable they released him in a residential area!

  2. LASH

    Hi Suzy, yeah I was amazed they just let him wander around the farmlands, esp since there are several large state parks nearby! odd… I always wonder if old Bear survived the winter? He looked pretty skinny, poor guy. My dad lives in Pa.

  3. Linda

    This post has been removed by the author.

  4. Linda

    Decided my previous comment had to go because googling around for more info on bears made me disagree with myself! What I REALLY want to say is that I totally agree that the bear should have been moved to a state park. That bear had already learned a thing or two about getting food from humans. Apparently bears repeat behaviors that result in food, and if he keeps this up it's gonna prove bad for him in the end. In fact, raiding bird feeders is classified by the New York State Department of Conservation as a "negative behavior."

    Nevertheless, I would have loved to have been there!

  5. LASH

    Hi Linda,

    Thanks for stopping by. Interesting to hear some real facts about bear behavior and wildlife laws. I really do wonder why the rangers didn't relocate bear to the state park? so odd…

  6. Linda

    Lash, I sent my husband a link to your blog post, and in return he sent me this video on how one bear escaped the heat. You have to sit thru a commercial first, but…


    Now: is that a "negative behavior" ? LOL

  7. LASH

    THanks Linda! wow, that tub looks like it was just made for bear! perfect fit!

    And the priceline commercials with william Shatner are hilarious!

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