August 15, 2022

Here a Bear, There a Bear …

LYME/OLD LYME — Around 5:50 p.m. on Sunday, July 18, Paul and Barbara Hallwood had just returned to their home on Sterling City Rd. in Lyme, when they saw the black bear, pictured above, hard at work in their yard.

Paul explained, “The bear had destroyed our bird feeder, bending the sturdy, metal pole [and] holding it up to a  right angle with ease. It treated the bird seed holder, which can be seen in the photo, like a lollipop wrapper, tearing at it and then tipping seeds out before eating them and grunting with satisfaction.”

The last the Hallwoods saw of  the bear – and the seed holder – was when the bear dipped down below their patio and, in Paul’s words,  “… presumably, moved on to somebody else’s garden.”

Paul and Barbara Hallwood

Asked, “How did you feel when you saw the bear?” Paul replied, “It was an OMG moment, and just look at the thickness of that fur with rippling muscles also evident!”

Was it the first time they had seen a bear in their yard?  Paul responded in the affirmative, saying, “First time we had ever seen one in our garden or anywhere for that matter. We knew then and there that that was the end of our bird feeder joy – well, at least until the hibernation season.”

He added, “As many neighbors as possible were immediately alerted to the danger.”

We were also sent the photo below, which was taken July 9, in Old Lyme at about 7:30 p.m. by Ron Breault at his neighbor’s house. Breault noted, “Then for the next hour plus the bear roamed our backyard and ravaged our bird feeders.”

Photo by Ron Breault.

We will let Paul Hallwood have the last word on the current, local black bear situation with his wise comment, “It’s a good idea not to feed the birds.”


  1. George Clough says

    My wife and I are avid birders. We maintain six bluebird houses, two dozen or so bird houses, several bird bath/water sources, as well as six large birdseed feeders scattered in our gardens.
    However, we have taken down all our feeders and removed our bird baths. Not because of the threat of black bear attraction, but rather because of a growing threat to song birds spreading in the US.
    Please, read either of the attached from the Connecticut Audubon Society or the Connecticut Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). For any true bird lover, this mysterious disease that is spreading in the song bird population is deeply troubling. I implore you to do the right thing and take down your feeders. The birds have adequate sources in the natural environment. So let them live and take down your feeders.

  2. There is abundant food in the gardens, fields and woods for the birds (and the bears!), so please take down your feeders to protect our song birds.

  3. Buck Warner says

    Not supposed to feed between memorial day and labor day. Let alone with the bird virus

  4. How about a saucer of water for drinking
    Purposes for the birds?

    A saucer with water for the birds?
    I have taken the bird bath down but have not put any drinking water out. August is so hot.