Black Bear Scat

 

Tracks and Signs of Black Bears (Ursus americanus)

 

Black bear scat with seeds. Photo copyright 2009 by Kim A. Cabrera.

This black bear scat shows the seeds of a coffee berry plant. Bears have a mixed diet that includes about 80 percent vegetable matter, some insects, and meat. Their scats are accordingly varied in appearance, contents, and size. The scat photos on this page will show you some of the variety you can expect from black bear droppings.

 
old bear scat. Photo copyright 2009 by Kim A. Cabrera.

This older black bear scat has begun to disintegrate. You can still see the seeds in it however. Bears help distribute the seeds of many plants this way. Most of the seeds pass through undigested.

 
Black bear scat in forest. Photo copyright 2009 by Kim A. Cabrera.

A black bear scat composed partially of plums. There is also some garbage in this scat. Look closely at the lower left. do you see the object sticking out from the scat? The next photo shows a close-up of that object.

 
Black bear scat with rubber band. Photo copyright 2009 by Kim A. Cabrera.

This is a close-up of the black bear scat above. Notice that this particular bear has obviously eaten some garbage. That is a wide rubber band in the scat. The bear very likely got into someone's garbage cans or compost pile. Bears are voracious eaters and will swallow just about anything, including plastic bags and rubber bands. Some objects are dangerous to the bears' health. This is one reason why we humans should keep our garbage properly stored so that bears and other wild animals cannot get into it. Bears, raccoons, skunks, opossums, and foxes are all well-known for getting into unsecured garbage. Protect the health of the animals, and keep them wild, by securing your garbage in bear-proof bins. Keeping food sources secure will also prevent problems with bears. Habituated bears, who frequently get food from dumpsters and trash receptacles, can become aggressive and cause problems.

 
Two black bear scats and a bear bed. Photo copyright 2009 by Kim A. Cabrera.

The two lower arrows here show a couple of black bear scats. The arrow above points to a bed area, where the bear frequently rested under the tree. Nearby was an orchard with old apple trees in it. The bear would visit the orchard and eat his fill, then visit the creek behind it to get water. Then the bear would curl up at the base of this tree to sleep. All its needs were met in this one small area. If a bear has a good food source, there is no need for it to wander far. Once the food source is used  up, (in this case, once the apples are gone) the bear will move on to something else.

 
Black bear scat composed of grass. Photo copyright 2009 by Kim A. Cabrera.

This is an early season black bear composed primarily of grasses. Bears eat grass and the inner bark of some trees in the early spring when other foods are not available. Their food preferences change with the seasons. In summer, they eat ripe berries. In fall, they prefer acorns. It really depends on what is available at the time of year.

 
Black bear scat composed of apple peels. Photo copyright 2009 by Kim A. Cabrera.

A huge black bear scat composed of apple peels. This scat was found adjacent to an historic apple orchard. The bears frequently visit and eat the apples. These orchards are located in a state park and many are almost 100 years old, yet they still produce apples. Great place for the deer and black bears!

 
tubular form of bear scat. Photo copyright 2009 by Kim A. Cabrera.

This is the typical cylindrical form that black bear scats are commonly found in. The form, of course, depends on diet. The more moist the diet, the less form there will be to the scats.

Black bear scat with raccoon scat on top. Photo copyright 2004 by Kim A. Cabrera.

Notice the smaller scat deposited on top of this black bear scat. Both the raccoon and bear scats are composed primarily of blackberry seeds. This is an early summer crop in this area and many species feed on the abundant berries.

 
Black bear scat composed of apples. Photo copyright 2004 by Kim A. Cabrera.
This bear scat is composed primarily of apples.
 
Black bear scat composed of apples. Photo copyright 2004 by Kim A. Cabrera.
There are plum seeds visible in this bear scat, as well as apple peels.
 
more firm Black bear scat composed of apples. Photo copyright 2004 by Kim A. Cabrera.
This scat is firmer than the others and possibly not as old. As they dry out, they tend to fall apart.
 
Black bear scats and flattened grass in orchard. Photo copyright 2004 by Kim A. Cabrera.

Numerous scats and flattened grass indicate the presence of bears in this orchard. When the fruit is ripening, the bears will spend most of their time here, taking advantage of an easy food source. Bears fatten up quite a bit at the end of summer, in preparation for the long winter ahead when there is little food available.

 
Black bear scat composed of apples. Photo copyright 2004 by Kim A. Cabrera.
Another bear scat showing the diet of apples.
 
Black bear scat composed of apple peels. Photo copyright 2004 by Kim A. Cabrera.

Another apple scat. The easy food source helps bears gain fat, which will help them make it through the lean winter months.

 
Black bear scats in orchard. Photo copyright 2004 by Kim A. Cabrera.
A large area of flattened grass around this apple tree is punctuated with bear scats.
 
Black bear scat composed of apples. Photo copyright 2004 by Kim A. Cabrera.
More apple peels in a bear scat.
 
Black bear trail through orchard. Photo copyright 2004 by Kim A. Cabrera.
The bears make well-used trails such as this one into the orchards where they find food.
 

Two bear scats next to each other in a frequently-used orchard. These droppings were composed of apple parts.

 
bear scat berries
Manzanita berries and blackberry seeds can be seen in this black bear scat.
 
Bear scat. Photo copyright 1999 by Kim A. Cabrera.

This black bear scat is approximately three months old. The effects of weather, including rain and snow, can clearly be seen in the scattered appearance of the material. The bear had been feeding in an old apple orchard, thus the scat is primarily composed of apple peels. Black bears can eat just about anything. Photo taken at Albee Creek Campground, Humboldt Redwoods State Park, California.

Photo above Copyright 1999 by Kim A. Cabrera

 

 
Other Bear Pages on this site:
Go to the Black Bear Scat Page I
or Black Bear Main Page
Go to the Black Bear Feeding Signs Page
or Black Bear Tracks and Signs Page II

Black Bear Dens and Beds
Black Bear Marking Trees
Black Bear Trails and Stomp Marking
More Black Bear Tracking Videos
Black Bear Cub Tracks
 
 
To see black bears in action, marking on trees in their territory and doing other things bears do, visit my YouTube channel:

www.youtube.com/beartracker777

The videos on my YouTube channel come from trail cameras I have set up in the woods to show black bears in their natural habitat, doing what they do when no one is watching. Enjoy!
 
 
Bear cub. Photo copyright 2009 by Kim A. Cabrera.
 
 
Another site I highly recommend:
Not hosted on this site, but great black bear page
from the North American Bear Center:
Lily the Black Bear
Jewel the Black Bear
Opens in a new window. Follow along as Lily and Jewel raise cubs!
These web cams provide a look inside a wild bear's den, LIVE!
Watch cubs being raised and cared for in real time and learn more
about bears than ever possible before.
Rare glimpses into the lives of wild black bears.
 
 
 

 

 

animal tracks

prints

Got a tracking story?
E-mail me and tell me about it.

You are visitor number since January 14, 1999.
All counters reset in October 2000.

Back to Animal Scat page

Back to the Animal Tracks Den

Copyright 1999, 2012. By Kim A. Cabrera

prints

animal tracks

Page updated: December 12, 2012.

Copyright 1999, 2010, 2012. Text, drawings, and photos by Kim A. Cabrera - Desert Moon Design

Find posters, greeting cards, postage stamps and more in my new store.

Visit Beartracker's Nature Store at: www.dirt-time.com   Happy tracking!!

What else can you find in the nature store? Beartracker's animal tracks coloring book, T-shirts, sweatshirts, journals, book bags, toddler and infant apparel, mouse pads, posters, postcards, coffee mugs, travel mugs, clocks, Frisbees, bumper stickers, hats, stickers, and many more items. All with tracks or paw  prints, or nature scenes. Custom products are available. If you don't see the track you want on the product you want, email me and I can probably create it. Proceeds from all sales go to pay the monthly fees for this web site. You can help support this site as well as get great tracking products! Thank you!

 

Find other tracking products: www.zazzle.com/tracker8459*

 

Also visit these fine stores for more products of interest:

NDN Pride shop - For Indian Pride items for all tribes. Custom items available on request.

ASL Signs of Love - For anyone who uses or is learning ASL, American Sign Language. Custom name items and more are available here.

Get Every Child Outdoors (Get E.C.O.) - My shop dedicated to nature and getting kids interested in nature and the outdoors.

Sales from all stores give commissions to Beartracker's Animal Tracks Den, which helps keep this site online as a free service. We are celebrating ten years online this year!

 

 

 

Find or Create Hilarious Merchandise at CafePress