Den Cam Live - UPDATE February 18, 2021

Denning bear

It’s TIME! We now have clearance to go live with this wild den cam at 5 PM bear time tomorrow February 19. That’s when it will begin streaming live on YouTube and Bearstudy.org. I don’t yet know the link to it on YouTube, but you will be able to watch it directly from Bearstudy.org and the video will have a link that takes you to YouTube if you prefer.

The ‘den’ is under the porch of a wonderful, cooperative couple. Along the way, a surprise was that this bear is not Lily as we had first thought. Reports from trail cams were that it was Lily, and I could not disagree based on what I could see in the den. But then the birthing period came and went in mid-January with no sounds of cubs, helping us understand why this bear was still active in late October when pregnant females like Lily were long in dens. It’s undoubtedly a male—the first wild male ever to be observed on a den cam. We’ll be looking to see how his behavior differs from the females we watched in 2010-2013 and how it differs from captive Ted’s.

I suspect he is a bear we know. He’s very calm. When I first peeked under the porch in late October, he looked at me and relaxed. He tucked its head back down and ignored me even when I got up to leave. He stayed put even when a noisy snowplow plowed within 5 feet of the porch on two sides after each snowfall.

Now, as we go forward, we’ll all be looking for identifying marks on his face and chest.

Our purpose with this den cam, according to the permit, is “to teach the public about the biology and behavior of bears in a way that advances the public’s understanding of that species.” To help with that, den cam watchers could again record the biology and behaviors of this bear as they did with Lily, Jewel, and Juliet back in 2010-2014. Contact Linda McColley at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you are interested in volunteering as a den watcher.

If the DNR is happy with us this year, we might be able to use radio collars to follow Lily, Jewel, and others to dens in the future. This start might be a short one, though. With less snow than usual so far this year, this male could be up and around before the end of March. Adult males are the first to leave their dens in spring.

I’m glad to have a DNR permit to be doing this once again. People have been telling me how much they miss the den cams, and some are wanting to use it as part of homeschooling in this time of covid.

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

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