Thursday, November 15, 2018

Bears Being Bears

The camera trap was homebrewed, built around an Olympus point-and-shoot digital camera; it takes videos during the day and still images at night. The camera trap was in the Big Woods, in a patch of the woodland that had once been a field; a field that had been abandoned over 100 years ago.

White pine seed had blown into the old field, germinated and resulted in a scattering of trees. Because they were growing in the open without much competition from other trees those first trees grew quickly, and often had multiple trunks. Now, many years later, those old trees are beginning to die and a multitude of younger, smaller trees are growing among them.

The Big Woods are host to white-tailed deer, eastern coyotes, bobcats, black bear and a vast number of other species native to the northeastern forest. The camera trap was there to capture images of the inhabitants of this forest, and it did.

Black bears are intelligent, immensely curious creatures that seem to be drawn to anything new in their territories. Those of us who operate camera traps in areas with a population of black bears quickly become aware of how bears treat camera traps – not well, as can be seen in this post

Here’s a compilation of videos from the camera, first a black bear messing with the camera, then a female white-tailed deer feeding on mushrooms and herbaceous plants and then a black bear (perhaps the same, perhaps another) again having its way with the camera. 

Did you notice the shadow of the bear?

I found the camera askew, moved partway around the tree on which it was mounted, but undamaged. Apparently the bear, after investigating the camera, used it, and the tree on which it was mounted, as a scratching post.

Two weeks later the bruin was back again

Of course, the bears aren't misbehaving they're just bears being bears curious about this alien thing and satisfying their curiosity, scratching an itch and marking their turf.


Lady Fi said...

Wow - amazing!

eileeninmd said...

Great videos. Thanks for linking and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your day and weekend!

Out on the prairie said...

Only a few come into iowa,they can be fun to watch

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I love walking in the woods but I sure hope I don't see a bear. There are signs up everywhere saying high activity this year! EEEEE!!! Thanks for the videos!

Adam Jones said...

Wow! How fantastic to be able to watch and record bears.

Woody Meristem said...

"I love walking in the woods but I sure hope I don't see a bear."
In over 55 years of being in the woods, frequently every day of the week, I've probably encountered black bears between 200 and 250 times. Only two of them ever gave me cause for concern. That's not to say they cannot be dangerous, but the danger posed by black bears is GREATLY exaggerated. I'm much more concerned by encounters with black-legged ticks that may be carrying Lyme disease than I am by encounters with black bears or timber rattlesnakes.

A Colorful World said...

Loved your narrative as well as the video footage! Wow..he is determined to chew on the camera, isn't he!?

Jenn Jilks said...

The little beggar! Our bear has ruined a camera bracket, and broken the hinge of a trailcam. sigh.
What a hoot!
(ツ) from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

KB said...

Wow, amazing video captures. I love bears!