Thursday, 22 September 2011

Black Bear Diaries 2011 Part 20: Bear dens and the snack bar

We are going to look at the the two places a bear loves best in this diary update. Bed and the snack bar.

In the back of my mind I have always wondered, where do all the local bears hibernate? 

While I was in the Canadian Rockies two weeks ago I picked up a copy of Dave Taylor's - Black Bears, A Natural History (a must read for any black bear fan and it is available through amazon Taylor/dp/1550418491/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1316750343&sr=8-1) and after reading the chapter on dens it got me even more curious about the local bears and where they den for the winter.

As we get into fall (aka autumn where I come from) curiosity got the better of me so I went exploring in the local mtn hoping to maybe locate something that resembled a Bear's den. I read somewhere that they like to den in tree cavities in old growth forests.The book explained that bears dens are not easy to find but from looking at the photos I had a pretty good idea of what I was looking for. Bear dens must be dry, away from danger and fairly cramped. The reason for them being cramped is that if there is too much open air around the bear it will loose body heat.

I spotted a number of dens on my hike and wanted to share the following photos with you. I think I found what I was looking for.


Did you know:  Black Bears den in a number of places including, under a brush pile, tree roots and beneath rock ledges. Bears have also been known to den in tree tops. There was a den found in Louisiana over 30 metres above ground in a tree.

The following photo shows a healthy skunk cabbage patch that could be another reason bears den in this area. This would be the ideal local snack bar when they wake up in spring.

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