Each spring, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife issues a warning to Maine homeowners, telling them how they can avoid unwanted interactions with hungry black bears that have emerged from their winter dens.

Among the top suggestions: Take in your bird feeders.

Of course, us Mainers love to watch the birds come to our feeders, so we’re reluctant to follow the DIF&W’s advice. And then, Bruno the Bear shows up. Oops.

Today, Larry Jewett of Leeds has provided us with great trail camera evidence of what can happen if we leave tasty snacks out where a bear can find them.

“This bear stole our bird feeders twice before we said, ‘no more’ and removed the feeders,” Jewett said. “[This] happened last spring.”

The bear, as you’ll notice, is an impressive specimen. Big. Muscular. A true giant. In fact, I’d guess that it had been visiting plenty of other feeders before the video was captured on Jewett’s trail camera.

And the bear hung around for a while before leaving. The first video and the second were taken seven minutes apart — plenty of time for a hungry bear to chow down on a pile of birdseed, that’s for sure.

So, is it spring yet? No. Are bears walking around, looking for a well-stocked feeder? Probably not. But it’s warm this week, and bears will be emerging from their dens soon enough. It’s just about time to start thinking about eliminating the kinds of things that attract them, like bird feeders, grills and outdoor trash cans.

Thanks for the great videos, Larry. Keep ’em coming!

Do you have a trail camera photo or video to share? Send it to jholyoke@bangordailynews.com and tell us “I consent to the BDN using my photo.” In order to prevent neighbors from stopping by to try to tag particularly large bucks, moose or bears, some identities and towns of origin may be omitted.


John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. He spent 28 years working for the BDN, including 19 years as the paper's outdoors columnist or outdoors editor. While...