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Bird Feeder Alert!

Every year, communities like Banff, Canmore, and Jasper have problems with black and grizzly bears being attracted into urban areas because of poor garbage control and bird feeders left out too long. 

In all three communities, it is now illegal to have bird feeders out during the summer months. In Banff and Jasper, because of their locations within national parks, it is illegal at any time to entice animals or birds using food. This includes bird feeders. In Canmore, a new bylaw forbids bird feeders during the summer, reflecting a new community attitude of reducing attractants to bears. 

Don't risk attracting bears into your neighbourhood!. users overwhelmingly believe that feeder restrictions are a positive move 

For the last year, we have been asking site users (as part of our interactive bear test) their feelings on the subject of bird feeder restrictions. The results strongly support the idea. In fact, 79% believed that restrictions were a positive move. Click here to read comments on bird feeder restrictions

Bird Feeders DO attract bears!

Bird feeders represent an easily available supply of food for bears, and can become an irresistible attraction. Bears that are attracted to bird feeders learn to associate people with food. Once this habituation occurs, it is only a matter of time before that bear collides with people and/or conservation officers. Remember, a habituated bear is a dead bear! If your neighbour has a bird feeder that still has seed in it, they are risking the safety of everyone in the neighbourhood. We all need to take responsibility regarding this issue and work together to get summer bird feeders out of our communities.

Tell your neighbours that it is critical that all bird feeders are emptied during Rocky Mountain summers. If you are uncomfortable discussing this with strangers, print out our bear warning and leave it at their door. It clearly explains the issues and serves to educate at the same time. You may also want to learn more about living in bear country by reading our "Locals Guide to Avoiding Bears in your Back Yard". The menu on the left includes numerous other bear safety links that will help to prepare you for safe living and playing in the mountains.

Kudos to Canmore's Town Council for having the courage to pass its summer birdfeeder bylaw.

Mountain Nature Network has long been a supporter of bird feeder restrictions during the summer months. Bird feeders attract bears. Nobody can dispute this basic fact. We all must play a role in reducing the habituation of bears and the attractiveness of our community to wildlife.

Bird Feeders are only part of the problem. Living in bear country is a combination of knowledge, understanding and community involvement. Restricting bird feeders means little if home owners plant trees and shrubs that attract bears, improperly store garbage and place animal remains in their compost. These all combine to create the same result - bears in your backyard. Don't forget to read our local's guide to living in bear country. Click here to read this report.