Alas, bears and birdfeeders do not go well together. At this time of year, I keep an eye peeled for the first torn garbage bag to judge when the bears have gotten up. And sure enough, I saw one on my drive to work last week, so with bitter resentment and sadness, I said goodbye to my fine feathered friends and took in the feeders for another summer. I will continue to offer water and nesting material and a few birdhouses. My yard will be filled with warblers and flycatchers andwoodpeckers. Orioles will trill away from the ancient oaks. The birds will come and they will nest, but I can not feed them.
Bears have excellent memories and can remember where to find food from season to season. Once they learn where to find it; they come back. I have seen this. One spring a few years ago, I walked into the kitchen ready to go for my morning walk when I came to a shocked stand- still. A bear was right outside the window and making a beeline for the tree where I keep the feeders. I had taken them in, so there was no smell, but he knew exactly where to go. He no doubt had sampled the bounty back in the fall.
If you live with bears, be careful. It is that time of year.