Last week a night visitor made its way to our humble little house knocking down our bird feeder (see below). At first I thought time and the wind had blown it over but then about 20 feet from the feeder I found a big pile of scat (that's science talk for animal poop-see below). It definitely wasn't deer or dog or turkey so I did a little research and it turns out it was from a black bear.
Over the 30 years that we've lived in this location I have seen interesting changes in the wildlife habits with whom we share our modest 2 acres.
We started out with mostly deer and turkeys-lots of both of them. The turkeys would come and go. Sometimes there would be 20 of them around our feeder and other times we wouldn't see them for several weeks or even months. Yet, recently four of them literally came on my front porch and pecked on the front door!
Deer have always been around-singly or in packs. This past winter however there has been a noticeable drop off in deer activity. Maybe one or two here and there. Part of the reason for this is the relatively mild winter. Apparently they've been able to find food in the woods. However read on for another possible explanation.
Red foxes are also here from time to time chasing chipmunks and squirrels who are always around in great numbers.
Another relatively new factor influencing all of this is the recent arrival of coyotes. We hear them in the woods across the street and one day while I was snow blowing the driveway, one followed me for a short distance before veering off into my neighbor's yard.
Coyotes may well be the reason for the reduction in the turkey and deer population. It's all simply nature at work.
Now enter the bear. They have a very wide territory and it's not unusual for them to show up in a yard at one time and not return for several months. I've talked to several other people in the neighborhood including my son who is about 2 miles away and they all report seeing a bear in their yards. It's more than likely the same animal.
For now I'll put the feeder back up and see what happens. I've also installed a borrowed a trail cam and for the past week there's been no unusual activity.
We'll see how it goes. Stay tuned.
To see more pictures of area wildlife not necessarily in my yard but very close by, click here georgeswebpage.com. Click on the photo gallery in navigation bar.