Massachusetts Black Bears are Not True Hibernators During Winter?
Massachusetts folks know all too well about bear activity, especially during the warmer months. Black bear sightings are not rare in towns throughout Massachusetts including Pittsfield, South Hadley, Ludlow, Easthampton, and the list goes on and on. Whether they are going through the trash or even attempting to enter your home or vehicle bears can be pests when they are on the hunt for food. Not to mention black bears can be dangerous to humans as the animals see them as a threat and will do whatever it takes to protect their young.
Massachusetts Black Bears Aren't True Hibernators? What Does That mean?
Now that Massachusetts folks are experiencing cooler temperatures we don't have to worry about seeing black bears or worry about black bear activity, correct? Well, that's not exactly true. According to mass.gov black bears aren't true hibernators. The site notes the following regarding black bears slowing down during the winter months:
Bears often remain in their den without eating, drinking, or excreting waste for nearly 5 months. Even so, their body temperature does not drop substantially and they can awaken easily. If human-associated foods, like bird feeders, are available year-round, bears may remain active during the winter.
While one can argue whether black bears are true hibernators, bears indeed slow down for winter to conserve energy. Still, I wouldn't take a chance by leaving a bird feeder outdoors during the colder months.
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