April 21, 2018

Time for bird feeders to come down

Observer courtesy photo
The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department advises residents to take down bird feeders in April so as not to attract hungry bears.

Bears on the prowl

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department advises Vermonters to take down bird feeders in April as spring weather and melting snow cause bears to come out of their winter dens in search of food.

Bears eat bird seed, especially black oil sunflower seed. Bringing feeders in at night doesn’t work, because bears will still feed on seed that is spilled on the ground, the department advises.

Other sources of food that can attract bears are pet food, barbecue grills, garbage, household trash containers, open dumpsters and campsites with accessible food and food waste.

Purposely feeding a bear is illegal.

The Fish and Wildlife Department also encourages keeping chickens and honeybees secure within an electric fence or other bear-proof enclosure, feeding pets indoors and storing trash securely.

The department asks people to report any bear encounters at vtfishandwildlife.com.

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