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Borrego Springs, CA

Friday, May 17, 2013

A marauder in the night?

I had today off so thought I might sleep in this morning.  Nice plan, but it didn’t work.  I was up by 6:30 as usual to get dressed and take Emma on her first outs.  What a surprise we had when we walked out the door.

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Yesterday, after it took me and fellow volunteer Steve some time to pound the Hard Rock Bird Café holder into the ground, the birds flocked to both of the feeders I hung up almost immediately.  This morning, everything was asunder.  The pole was bent over, and the now empty feeders were scattered about.  Egad!  What could be strong enough to bend the pole like this?

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I checked the feeders outside the temporary headquarters building, and they were  either bent over or mashed as well.  This was definitely not the work of some chubby raccoons!

There was only one animal that I could think of that would cause this kind of destruction…

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… a bear!  Sure enough, some time during the night, a black bear, recently emerged from hibernation, decided to amble through the maintenance compound looking for something to eat.  As a result, all bird feeders have been shut down on the refuge for the time being.  Staff suspects the bear will be back tonight to make another round.  This is not a common occurrence here.  Every couple of years or so, a bear will wander through in spring and cause a little havoc on the feeders.  Wouldn’t you know, it would pick the day I put up my feeders to wander through.

Good old ‘wild child’ Emma never even woke up to alert me to this big intruder on her domain.  When I took her out this morning however, her hair was standing on end!  Phfft!  A protector she is not!

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For some reason, the bear ignored the hummingbird feeders at both my site and at headquarters.  The ruby-throated hummers got their feeding in when the Baltimore orioles weren’t trying to take advantage of the sweetness.

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During the afternoon, the locals squawked at me wondering where their brief food source had gone.  Sorry guys, there’ll be a slight hiatus until the bear moves on, and I figure out how to straighten out that bent post.

I’m slated to go on the bird festival bird tour of the refuge for tomorrow morning.  What that means is I will be getting up at four in the morning so I can be in Detroit Lakes by 5:30.  Uf-dah!  That’s too early in the morning in my estimation.  I guess that’s why I’m a ‘birdwatcher’, but no longer an avid ‘birder’.  I’ll survive, I suppose, but I’d much rather wake up naturally as opposed to an alarm…

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

27 comments:

  1. If you are going outside at 4am, you'd better be careful or you might end up face to face with that Bear! That would be a real big Ufdah!!

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  2. Wow, high drama indeed! Good thing everyone figured it out so quickly. BTW, I gave you a little homage at the end of my blog post today.

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  3. Rick is right. Take your "bear bells" with you. :-))

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  4. Maybe Emma had the good sense to keep quiet knowing it would be a lot safer to stay inside. When we were in West Yellowstone, the park owner told us that a grisly had passed right behind our rig and deposited a little gift near our exhaust overnight. We and Halley were sleeping less than four feet from this action and she never made a sound either:)

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  5. becareful in the morning and have a firm grip on Emma's leash when you open the door to take he out. Mr. Bear might be around.

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  6. Maybe the dogs are smarter than we think. not making a sound is more protection than raising an alarm.

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  7. To tell the truth I kind of miss NC and the the bears who ruined every bird feeder I set out, including thehummingbird feeder.

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  8. We have been told that the bears are out and about here too. We have to do a garbage run in the evening and also dump out the fish entrails so that no food or garbage is left out. Every time we go to dump the fish "guts" up at the old dump we wonder if we will see a bear but we haven't yet.

    Enjoy your bird festival tour, just sorry you have to get up so early for it.

    Ruth
    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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  9. Your visitor probably thinks of you as a generous and welcoming hostess now ;-) Perhaps when they fix the feeder poles at the temp HQ, they'll be willing to fix yours, too.

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  10. Yikes- That is an early morning. Hope the birds are cooperative and it is worth it.

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  11. Wouldn't you have loved to capture the "action" on a game camera! Hope your holder and feeders can be restored to service soon.

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  12. WOW! To think that bear was doing all that right outside and you guys didn't hear anything! Good thing you didn't wake up and decide to go for a nocturnal stroll!

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  13. Egads...that bear is probably very hunger. Never knew that they would eat bird seed.

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  14. Wow, how exciting. Don't you wish you could have been inside watching the action? I bet the hungry bear appreciated your snacks.

    Can you please tell me what kind of zoom lens you use? I just got a new DSLR camera with a 75-250 zoom lens and its not NEARLY strong enough.

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  15. That is the very reason we don't put out bird feeders here. Yes, they eat the seeds and destroy the feeders. Hope you enjoy your bird walk.

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  16. Hopefully your tour was wonderful. The best day at Malheur was the one I had to spend 16 hours driving van. That's the negative side - but the positive side was that everyone else on the tour had to pay $95 and I got it for free. And I got a few lifers, including a saw-whet owl. And I think the best hours of the day are the ones just before and after sunup so I'm always up and watching from the bunkhouse or touring then.

    Sorry about the bear. I thought you would say deer or raccoons - the only ones I've enounter who will bend down the feeders.

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  17. Glad Emma was quiet or the bear made have attacked your RV.

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  18. OMGosh! So the bear was right in your site. That's pretty scarey! I'm sorry about your feeder pole - it looks like a nice one. I hope it can be bent back into usable shape. I'll bet Emma's hair was standing up in the morning because of the bear smell. I'm surprised it didn't wake her up.

    Last night I heard a weird metallic sound at the rear of The Palms. I didn't know if it was from the bathroom, kitchen or outside. I checked everything and went outside with a flashlight to make sure no one was around. All was well as far as I could see. Can you imagine if there was a wild animal there? Maybe it's a good thing the bear was quiet enough that you slept through his visit.

    I think I've been calling myself a new "birder" in error - I'm definitely a "bird watcher" if getting up at Oh-dark-thirty is what birders do. Not my style, for sure. :)

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  19. Thank goodness you didn't hear or see that big bear as he was destroying the crooks!
    I hate to think what he could do to a motor home, because I have seen what they can do to a camper!
    Perhaps somebody might know of a blacksmith who could heat up the wrought iron and make it stand properly.
    Hope you enjoyed the bird festival!
    Kathy

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  20. Oh my gosh! At least 'wild child's' hackles went up! What happened last night? Hope the bear was gone when you went out after 4:30 rising.

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  21. Holy Moly - bending sturdy poles like those in your pics takes some serious strength.

    Your header photo is beautiful - the area looks so serene... unless one encounters a big ol' bear!

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  22. I don't think I have ever been up at 4:00am...bet a nap will be in order later! Maybe Emma needs bells too for the early morning outs. The more bells the better!

    Hope youbhad a great time on your bird festival tour.....can't wait to see!

    Hugs to Emma!

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  23. That was an equal opportunity bird feeder. With emphasis on "was".

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  24. Hope the bear moves on soon. John was fixing our bird feeder and a gold finch was sitting on the pole scolding him for not being faster, it was almost comical.

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  25. ahhh. . .nature at it's finest. . .you gotta love their opportunistic abilities. . .good luck with that pole!

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  26. Nice post.Thanks for sharing this in your blog

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