Tag Archives: American Black Bear

TRACKING WILD CREATURES ON OUR LOCAL BEACHES (WILL BEARS BE NEXT?)

Just some of the paw prints seen on our local beaches this spring are Eastern Coyote, Red Fox, Skunk, Racoon, White-tailed Deer, and of course, a plethora of crows and gulls.

If you would like to see what wildlife traverses and scavenges Cape Ann beaches when we humans are not there, the best time to look is early, early in the morning, before the tracks are disturbed. Oftentimes the best days to look are after a rain storm, especially after the sand has dried a bit. Forget about tracking tracks on a windy morning. If you are not sure what you are seeing, take a close-up photo of the track, and then take a long shot, too, to see the pattern of the tracks.  

The Mass Wildlife Pocket Guide is the best handy track identification tool because it shows clearly the tracks, as well as the pattern of the tracks, and only shows wildlife we see in Massachusetts.

My favorite tracks to find are (no mystery here) Piping Plover tracks, which are wonderfully shaped, like a diminutive fleur de lis.

Piping Plover tracks showing courtship activity

I am waiting to see Black Bear tracks. Just kidding, although, the range of the Black Bear is expanding from western Massachusetts eastward. I imagine that within ten years Black Bears will, at the very least be frequent visitors to Cape Ann, or will be living in our midst. Just the thing Joey will be thrilled to know 🙂

Learn more about Black Bears here.

 

The Black Bears expanding range in Massachusetts.

Black Bear Cubs

Photo courtesy wikicommons media

Bear Pooh!

American Black Bear Pooh ©Kim Smith 2014 copyI love it when friends and readers ask what bird or butterfly (and moth and caterpillar), and am only too happy to help them learn more about the creature they have found. Very funny though is the wide range of nature-related questions that I am asked. At a job site recently, the crew could not wait to show me the above humungous pile of pooh. Should I be flattered or dismayed?

Three times as large as the largest Great Dane pooh that you could possibly imagine, and not the right consistency for dog poop, it didn’t take much searching to determine that it was Black Bear pooh. We double checked with our friend Richard from the Department of Conservation and Recreation and sure enough, it was confirmed to be bear pooh.

black_bear_w_5_cubs_nh_june_2007

Black_bear_with_salmon

As an alternative to what was suggested by the MSPCA in their “co-existing with coyotes literature,” which is that kids be kept indoors and that we keep donkeys and llamas as coyote deterrents, we instead perhaps should repopulate Cape Ann with bears. After all, bears were here before the earliest European settlers (think Bearskin Neck).

JUST KIDDING!

black_cub

Willowdale is located within the Bradley Palmer State Park, which borders the towns of Ipswich, Topsfield, and Hamilton, which border the towns of Essex and Manchester. Has anyone in recent history spotted a Black Bear on Cape Ann?

11142685-large-1 Cape Cod’s Resident Black Bears Gets Evicted

Excellent link provided by GMG reader artbev on Animal Scat Notes. Thank you artbev!

American Black Bear Images courtesy google image search.