Birdfeeders attracting bears? Most people are surprised that bears would frequent a birdfeeder. But consider that nuts and seeds are very high in protein and fat, nutrients which bears require in quantity as they try to gain weight for the winter. Hummingbird feeders, with their sugar content, are also an attractant for bears.
The purpose of most birdfeeders is to supply food to birds when natural resources are scarce – in the winter and early spring. Many people also enjoy watching birds, and use feeders to entice them into the yard. However, if you live in an area where bears are a problem, you may be unwittingly participating in habituating a bear to being in your neighbourhood.
Bears and birdfeeders are a bad combination. What can you do?
- Remove birdfeeders during the spring, summer, and fall months. Be sure to clean up uneaten seed and nuts from the ground. There are plenty of natural food sources for birds in the wild.
- If you wish to attract birds to your yard in the summer, create a “bird friendly” yard. Supply perches and natural food sources that your favourite birds enjoy. Plant shrubs and bushes as refuge and nest sites. Instead of a hummingbird feeder, plant bright red, deep-throated flowers that hummingbirds enjoy. Ask at your local gardening centre for a list of plants that attract birds.
For more information on bird-friendly gardening:
Canadian Living Magazine