Studies show that a big meal of tasty, nutritious seeds — a natural food for bears — is often the first reward a bear gets for exploring human places. Letting your bird feeders turn into bear feeders teaches bears that it’s safe to come close to people and homes looking for food. And for bears that can be a deadly lesson.
We recommend not feeding birds during the months when bears are active.
Instead, use water features, plantings, nest boxes and flowers to attract birds. Use bird feeders only when bears are hibernating.
If you don’t want to stop feeding birds, you need to hang your feeders at least ten feet off the ground and ten feet away from anything bears can climb.
Keep the area underneath feeders clean and free of bird seed and hulls, or switch to a hulled bird seed with no waste.
Never store bird seed outside, under your deck, or in a garage or shed a bear could break into. A 50-pound bag of bird seed has over 87,000 calories—a reward for the bear and well worth the effort of breaking in.