Several Dennis Drive residents reported that a family of bears (a mother and two cubs) were prowling the neighborhood yards throughout the day and into the evening on Wednesday and Thursday, March 24-25. Neighbors took to email to caution each other of the bears’ presence and to urge parents not to allow children to play outdoors unsupervised with the bears in the vicinity. Barbara Willis reported observing a bear taking down her bird feeder. This writer had the same experience, finding the bird feeders on his deck destroyed and emptied. It was the first time in anyone’s memory (going back some 40 years) that bears had been spotted in the neighborhood.
March is the month when hungry black bears in Massachusetts tend to emerge from their winter dens and seek food. There were more than 4,500 in the Commonwealth at last count (in 2019). Bears will typically ignore seasonally available foods in favor of an easy meal from a bird feeder. Massachusetts Audubon Society advises that problem encounters can be avoided by taking down bird feeders and securing trash at this time of the year. For more information on black bears in Massachusetts look here and here.