It’s Hard to Keep a Bear From Being a Bear - UPDATE April 10, 2020

Last evening, "Happy Cub" caught Tasha being a bear and biting bark. Tasha biting barkTasha biting barkI suspect it is cedar bark because that is the only kind of bark I’ve seen them strip for bedding, and there are cedars in the enclosure. Good catch on the camera. They use it for spring beds out of the den and for bedding in dens.

Robin with earthwormRobin with earthwormYesterday, 9 robins searched for food in the snow free area beside the WRI, and crows were behaving the same in other open patches. I had no idea what they were after. Then a male robin revealed the secret. Earthworms, of course! I just didn’t think they’d be up yet. I suspect some ground thawed with temperatures as high as 54°F. And maybe they got caught up on the surface by the cold that came with the snow storm a couple nights ago. Who knows, but they were catching earthworms on the surface here.

A sign of spring is catkins, an early bear food, developing on quaking aspen trees and willow bushes.

The biggest eye-bugging event today was a mature bald eagle flying in close to the window fully spreading its wings so I was looking at the underside of 6-7 feet of vertical wings wheeling in a sharp turn within 6 feet of my desk window. I was on the phone and not ready. I’d been wondering where the suet was disappearing to. I think the eagle was looking for suet. The camera is at the ready if an eagle ever gives another chance.

Willow catkinsWillow catkins Quaking aspen catkinsQuaking aspen catkins

It was peaceful to see deer lying on the bare ground chewing their cuds in the yard like I used to see and hear while accompanying deer. The yard here is typical of the places the deer selected back in the old study (1977-1980). Chewing probably interferes with their ability to hear predators, so they selected fairly open upland locations with good visibility all around.

Deer restingDeer resting at WRI Deer resting with Lynn 1979Deer resting with Lynn in 1979

Thank you for all you do.
Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center

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