Breakfast Visitor -- A black bear comes to call
Ursus americanus

This morning, at breakfast time, a black bear (Ursus americanus) came to call

2003 September 01

I was minding my own business, having my morning coffee when I happened to look out our dining room window. There he was, a black bear, ambling towards the house after checking out the compost heap and crab apple tree. But not finding anything to his taste at the McElroy's Breakfast Buffet, he wandered out the driveway and went on his way — off to check out the neighbours, no doubt.

a black bear ambling towards the house

I rather suspect he has been visiting us periodically all year, but this was the first time I had spotted him. Earlier in the year, we had noticed areas where the sod had been dug up much too extensively to be the work of skunks. And last week, I noticed a broken branch in the crab apple tree. But I hadn't found any droppings, which is the usual calling card of a black bear.

black bear surveying our driveway

He looks in pretty good shape — healthy, reasonable size and a nice lustrous coat. I wish him well. It's nice to live somewhere where your friends and neighbours feel free to drop over for breakfast unannounced.

Actually, this guy is quite reserved compared to one a few years ago. Diana was reading the newspaper and looked up to see a bear on our front deck with his bum almost in contact with the living room window — fifteen feet away, maybe. But he headed for the hills when she closed the deck door.