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Vegetation - the Dietary Mainstay

Vegetation - the Dietary Mainstay

Vegetation is the primary bear food in northeastern Minnesota when all seasons are considered.  In April, flower parts of aspen, willow, maple,...

Berries - a Critical Food

Berries - a Critical Food

Berries are important foods throughout the black bear range.  The most commonly eaten berries in northeastern Minnesota are sarsaparilla...

Ant Brood - an Important Food

Ant Brood - an Important Food

Ant specialists refer to ant larvae and pupae as "brood."  These digestible clumps of fat and protein are the main source of...

Hazelnuts - a Favorite Food

Hazelnuts - a Favorite Food

Hazelnuts are one of the most important and preferred bear foods in northeastern Minnesota.  Across North America, availability of hard...

Animal Protein

Animal Protein

Insects and animal matter are less than 10% of the annual black bear diet around Ely and across most of North America. Across America,...

Forest Tent Caterpillars

Forest Tent Caterpillars

In outbreak years, caterpillars usually hatch in May, defoliate huge areas, and pupate 5-6 weeks later in June or early July.  As the...

What do bears like to eat in a beehive?

What do bears like to eat in a beehive?

Although bears prefer immature bees, they also will eat honey, depending upon the alternatives. Honey is mostly sugar with an average composition...

Effects of Food on Survival

Effects of Food on Survival

Effects of food on cub growth and survival: Starvation is the main cause of death for black bear cubs around Ely. By fall, cubs can weigh 15 to...

Adaptations for Obtaining Food

Adaptations for Obtaining Food

A keen sense of smell Strong curved claws for climbing trees and ripping logs Strength for turning over rocks and logs to get colonial...

Limitations

Limitations

Predation:  The stocky body that gives black bears strength and minimizes heat loss makes them a poor predator.  The stocky, insulated...

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