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Friday, May 28, 2021

The Essence of Springtime - Black Bears marking trees

For me, the emergence of bears from their dens marks the true start of springtime. In the past couple of weeks, the bear marking trees have been busy. Tiny the bear was the first to mark a tree this spring way back in early April. Since then, a couple of smaller bears have been very active rubbing trees.

The first bear to arrive on a "stomp trail" on May 10 was a sow. She first marked the tree and then she walked back and forth. Notice her funny gait. She was placing each paw in a depression in the soil where bears have placed their paws for decades. She did this to leave scent from her paw pads on the ground. Then, when a male bear comes along, he can follow her by smelling the scent on the stomp trail. It's called a "stomp" trail because some bears hit those spots hard with their paws to maximize the scent they leave.

This sow was very enthusiastic about marking, so much so that she climbed the tree and then descended it like a pole in a fire station! Many hours after she departed, a male bear came along a sniffed (and licked) the tree with great interest. He also walked with his paws in the depressions in the soil.

I will continue this story soon with visits from other bears, including my favorite, Tiny!

Happy Springtime. The bears are out animating the forests again! Enjoy the video.


  1. We were surprised to see the tree not bend to the ground under the weight of the sow!

  2. she climbs like jack and the bean pole.. does this mean Tiny comes to your lab valley camera? or do you go back to the old camera? or is the old place close to the new place. so glad we will still see tiny which ever the answer is, the amle made me laugh

    1. No, Tiny is in the vicinity of our old place (and this footage is from there). I am going to continue to monitor the bears and lions there. I know them all too well to walk away. I think that you understand...

  3. What great footage of the bears. It's hard to imagine that such a big animal can scurry up that tree so fast.

  4. The dance of spring. Most entertaining.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. Scritches to the pups. ♥

  5. Great footage! I wondered that the tree would stand under the weight of the bear, but it did.

  6. We always like seeing those wonderful creatures!

  7. The sow needs to work a little on her dismount. LOL Very cool footage.

  8. Ohhh KB thank you. please tell Tiny his fans await.
    Hugs cecilia

  9. We always look forward to watching Tiny, and were so glad you spotted him early this year. Spring is such a magical time for nature!!

  10. What a huge performance to find a partner, way back in those dim past years, we all went to a dance, ladies on one side of the hall, young men on the other, then when they p=lucked enough courage, came over and chose one to dance with. Stomping in the snow, pole dancing up a tree, licking the bark, this gives a whole new perspective to courtship, loved the video SO much.


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