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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — If you live in an area where black bears have been spotted, the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife wants you to take down your bird feeders.
"Bears will often ignore natural foods including skunk cabbage in favor of an easy meal at a backyard bird feeder," MassWildlife wrote in a post on Mass.gov. "There are at least 4,500 black bears in Massachusetts and their range is expanding eastward."
Along with garbage, open compost, and anything else that might attract the bears, they suggest removing the feeders to be proactive about bear safety.
Officials suggest that, if you want to view birds in your back yard, native plants and water features are a better idea, since bears—as well as coyotes and other wild animals—can't use them as a snack.
MassWildlife offered more tips on dealing with bears at Mass.gov/Bears.