When Bruce Batten looked out his window and onto his second-floor porch in Eagle River early Friday, he didn’t expect to see a black bear maneuvering up the steps. He also didn’t expect to see it grab ahold of his new bird feeder and begin devouring the seeds encased within.
(snip) Batten sent photographs of the incident to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, which prompted the agency to send out a news release Friday afternoon entitled: “Hang Onto Your Birdseed, Warm Winter Has Bears Stirring,” encouraging residents in Southcentral Alaska to keep their bird feeders inside and their trash secured for at least a few more weeks.
Dave Battle, an assistant area wildlife biologist with Fish and Game, said a mix of mild temperatures and little to no snow has led some bears to hang around for longer than usual. Plus, he said, accessible bird feeders and high-caloric trash don’t exactly encourage a bear to retire for the winter.
“It’s most likely to stay out a bit longer, packing in the last calories that it can,” Battle said.
(snip) So when Nov. 1 hit last weekend, Batten hung the bird feeder outside.
A few days later, around 1:30 a.m. Friday, the dogs in Batten’s home began barking wildly. Batten and his wife, Toni, peeked out the French doors that lead from their bedroom to the porch. The couple flipped on the outdoor light, but the bear continued to eat.
“He’s like, ‘Excuse me, I’m having a little snack here,’ ” Batten said.
Life in Alaska: never boring!