Songbird Supplies - Local Birdseed for Local Birds!™  A Colorado Springs small business featuring

local wild birdseed blends. 

124 E Cheyenne Road, Colorado Springs, CO  80906         Click for Directions & Hours     719-328-9234

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Be a Bear Aware!  Birder

Did you know that your average four pound feeder of black oil

sunflower seed contains approximately 7,000 calories? That’s

about 28 Snickers bars! And hummingbird feeders are sweet

drinks too; a 32-ounce feeder contains around 775 calories.

If you live in bear country (any place west of I-25 in the Springs in

my opinion), please take a moment to read this page. My goals are

to inform, protect your property including your investment in your

feeders, offer solutions, and to keep bears alive and wild.

The Problem
As the above calorie counts demonstrate, a bird feeder is a bear goldmine! Once bears find a feeder, they are more likely to return to your yard looking for the next snack. Bears will destroy your expensive feeders, create additional safety concerns and potentially cause additional property damage. The hardest part, a fed bear is a dead bear. Please don’t let our wild bears become habituated to food sources.


You CAN feed the birds AND be bear safe! How? I offer tips below, your best solution will depend on your situation. Please feel free to contact me to discuss your situation or ask questions!

Adopt a dog: I’m actually not joking. Dogs are the best bear deterrents there are, depending on the breed of course.

Remove other attractants - Trash, Compost & Chickens!
    Trash. The single biggest reason bears become a “problem bear” is the easy meal offered by unsecured trash cans. This is a community effort. Everyone in your neighborhood or development needs to put trash cans out only on the morning of collection. If a bear doesn’t find easy food sources, they will move on and remain wild. When this happens, it’s easier to feed the birds, however it doesn’t mean other tips here should not be followed. Bear proof trash cans are becoming more commonplace and more affordable all the time. I can recommend bear proof trash cans if you are interested.
     Compost & Chickens: Bears can’t resist either of these. If you have either in bear habitat, you really need to install electric fencing.

Feed hulled mixes or seeds to remove residual attractants
The name of my Bear Necessities™ blend turns a lot of heads. I created this mix not only as a good clean patio blend, but more to be a Bear Aware birder’s mix. Spent shells from regular birdseed builds up under feeders over time. As a bear moves through your yard and smells the shells, they know a food target is near! They get curious and will linger or maybe return more often in search of that food source. Feeding a hulled mix, or pure sunflower meats, removes this residual attractant. If a bear does pass through your yard, they mosey on! Of course, you will still need to take your feeder in at night.

Try Nyjer seed
Bears are not overly attracted to Nyjer feeders. This one I cannot explain and seems counter-intuitive, but it seems to be true. Nyjer is a great seed to attract goldfinches, siskins and other finches. For more about Nyjer, click here.

Take your feeders in at night
Most bears are active during twilight and evening hours. While this is generally true, highly habituated bears do become increasingly active during daytime hours. Also, during summers of poor natural food production or in the spring and especially fall, bears may be more active than normal during daytime.

Remove your feeders during Springtime
When bears emerge from their dens in the spring they are hungry! This is also the time when they are setting their summer patterns for food sources and mother bears are teaching their cubs how to find reliable food sources. Just like raccoons, they follow the same or similar path every day (night) to those mapped out food sources. If you are not on their map, both you and the bear will be better off. This works best for the first few weeks after bears emerge from their dens.

Feed only during the winter
Pros: This is the most effective solution. Bears usually den from November to April or May. I will post bear movement information on my facebook page as I get updates from our local agency officials.
Cons: Summertime rewards us with many of the most colorful and fascinating birds, as well as hummingbirds.

Store feeders in a bear proof container
If bringing your feeders into your house is too messy or difficult, I can advise on other solutions. You will still need to remove the feeder from the hook and place them into these containers, but it’s better than bringing them inside! Contact me for more details.

Buy a Bear-Proof Bird Feeder
Once I find one that actually is bear-proof, I will be overjoyed. This is the most common question I get. The problem is, there is no such thing as a bear-proof bird feeder, yet. Several of my customers have systems they have welded and created themselves. If anyone is a welder and can create a truly bear proof feeder, PLEASE contact me!

Use a pulley system
This can work, but it is tricky. Remember black bears are strong climbers. Be sure feeders are inaccessible to bears by hanging them at least 10 feet from the ground and six feet from any climbable structure. Also ensure your pulley system and wire is strong. Bears will sometimes work to cut the wire to release the feeder.

If you have questions or need specific advice for your yard, please contact me. And thank you for your interest in Bear Aware bird feeding!

Safety Tip: If bears are common in your area – I strongly recommend you keep bear spray handy!

Please also see the Colorado Parks & Wildlife resource page at