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A marauder in the night?

Friday, 17 May 2013

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.

73 Tamarac NWR, 2013

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

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