I made a big mistake with my backyard bird feeder

I love birds. Indeed, I love all wildlife. Well, OK, not black flies. Gold ticks. But I love all other wildlife. Umm, maybe not bears on my porch.

Word had come down a week earlier. A bear and his two yearlings were visiting houses along my quiet, rural road after dark. Neighbors were urged to take precautions. Je n’ai pas.

I live at the end of the road, surrounded on three sides by habitat that is unattractive to bears. I figured there was little chance they would make it down this far. In 22 years, a bear had visited my house only once.

That was about 17 years ago, and the result was an immediate need to replace all my unfortunate bird feeders, plus one or two mounting poles. I smugly assumed that after all that time, the likelihood of another visit was slim. It wasn’t.

“Grab your camera,” my neighbor called as we converged at our mailboxes just past daybreak. High in a tree, perched above another neighbor’s garage, the three culprits lolled in the upper branches, hoping the humans wouldn’t notice.

They were laughably conspicuous. Even if they were better concealed, it would have been hard to ignore the trash strewn about a third neighbor’s driveway.

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