We had a lethargic black bear come visit our clearing a few nights ago, just after the big snow storm. This is the bear who I've dubbed "Tiny" in the past, based on his humongous stature. Based on the fact that he's not in hibernation yet, I'm assuming that Tiny is a male. Look at his size!
Tiny obviously remembered that he couldn't get to the birdfeeders. He did something that no bear has ever done before. He arrived under the feeders and lay down in the snow. He stayed for almost an hour, lackadaisically scratching at the snow and licking up a few fallen seeds.
For that reason, two cameras were taking photos and videos of Tiny during his long visit. Here's one from my new inexpensive camera.
I suspect that the coyote wanted to see what food Tiny might unearth and leave unfinished. If, for example, Tiny had opened our garbage cans, there might have been some scraps left behind that the coyote could have eaten. My friend who used to have a chicken coop said that a bear would break in and eat the food that she'd given her chickens but would leave the chickens alive. The coyotes would follow behind and eat the chickens themselves. So, coyotes are smart, taking advantage of the brawn of bears to get food to eat.
As Tiny departed our clearing, he stood up on his hind legs and marked two large Ponderosa Pine trees. The story was clear from his tracks in the snow and the bark pieces scattered atop the new snow. That discovery was incredibly exciting for me because now I have two "bear trees" identified on my own property. You can bet that there will be trail cameras pointed at them next spring. I honestly don't expect to see Tiny again this year - he seemed lazy and sleepy. I suspect that he'll be drifting toward hibernation in the near future.
here. Most of it is "true video" because my new camera records nighttime videos. You can see the coyote scaring Tiny a couple of times in the video. Astounding!