The DEC is reminding New Yorkers to remove bird feeders and other sources of food to prevent attracting bears.

The Department of Environmental Conservation is urging residents to take steps to prevent bears from easily accessing food sources like bird feeders and garbage. Due to poor natural food availability last fall, many black bears went into their dens with low fat reserves and as they begin to emerge from winter dens, have already begun seeking out food sources around homes.

Feeding garden birds in winter: greenfinches
Getty Images/iStockphoto

The DEC has already recieved reports of bears knocking down bird feeders to get to the seed.  Feeding bears either intentionally, which is illegal, or unintentionally through careless practices around properties, has consequences for entire communities. DEC advises everyone who lives in or visits bear country to remove items that are attractive to bears.

Residents should remove bird feeders by April 1, and keep garbage in a secure building. Allowing bears to find food naturally keeps them out of trouble and reduces negative interactions with people and property.

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