Bring in The Bird Feeder! Bears are Leaving their H.V. Dens
We're surrounded by wildlife in the Hudson Valley and this time of the year, Hudson Valley residents need a little reminder as visitors might make their way to your neighborhood.
It's no surprise to us Hudson Valley natives, that we are surrounded by wildlife. Deer, turkeys, bobcats, and, of course, bears. We see it all. But sometimes we need a little reminder.
Hudson Valley Bear Season
The Department of Environmental Conservation shared that by April 1st, you should probably bring your bird feeders in. Why you may ask? We'll let the DEC explain:
Remember to take your bird feeders down by April 1. As hungry bears start leaving their dens in the spring, things like bird feeders, pet food, and trash can attract bears and other animals, potentially leading to conflicts between humans and wildlife. Bears are are opportunistic feeders and will remember where they find easy food, then return to that location frequently.
Black Bears are, "opportunistic feeders" which means they remember locations where they were able to access food easily, which in turn will make them repeat customers. According to the DEC, intentionally feeding black bears is not only dangerous, creating human-bear conflicts, but also illegal.
If you have a black bear problem, the DEC suggests contacting your regional DEC office.
How to Reduce Human-Bear Conflicts at Home
Here are a few other ways to reduce human-bear conflicts at your home as explained by the DEC:
- Remove the grease can from grills after every use. Turn the grill on "High" for several minutes after you are done cooking to burn residual odors off the grill.
- Do not place food outside to attract wildlife. Any food items used to attract birds, squirrels, or other wildlife will also attract bears.
- Do not feed pets outside. Leftover food or even an empty dish can attract a bear.
- Do not operate refrigerators or freezers outside or on porches. Bears can smell what is inside.
- Electric Fencing is an effective tool for keeping bears out of apiaries, chicken coops, compost, and gardens.
Have you had a bear encounter? We'd love to hear your stories. Share them with us on social media or through the station's app.
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Hudson Valley Wildlife Gallery
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