Peace Crane by Hilary Taylor

Peace Crane by Hilary Taylor
Picture by Justin Wyatt
To read Hilary's story buy this special book...

This magical story has a touch of the supernatural. When an injured crane is found and nursed, something happens, something magical and inspiring...

Gentle Footprints launched- AS SEEN ON TV

Gentle Footprints was officially launched Fri June 4th at the Hay Festival with guest speaker Virginia McKenna and some of the authors

Buy from Bridge House Publishing by clicking on the link BUY:


Virginia McKenna at Hay Launch

Virginia McKenna at Hay Launch

Animal Anthology To Raise Funds for Born Free

Bridge House Publishing announce new book coming Spring 2010. For more about Bridge House please see their website.
This book is the annual charity book for Born Free...if you want to get involved with promoting and selling this book- email me!

Visit the Born Free Website to find out more about their valuable work...

Visit the Born Free Website to find out more about their valuable work...

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Black Bears in America

How ya’ll doing? I’m Dave and I guess I’m your blogger for the next couple of days. On my first day I’ll start with some general Black Bear stats.
There are three types of North American bears-the Polar Bear (Ursus Maritimus), the Grizzly (Ursus Arctos), and the Black Bear (Ursus Americanus). The most widespread bear on the North American continent is the Black Bear. They inhabit areas from the far Alaskan Range to the mountains of Northern Mexico. The Black Bear’s favorite habitat is prime forest land.
The species name, Americanus, is latin for “Of America”. They were given this name because the Black Bear was first described by European immigrants..
The black Bear is the smallest of the three North American bear species, yet it’s still an impressive animal. The average weight of an adult male is between 250 and 450 pounds. When a Black Bear rears up on its hind legs he can measure six to seven feet tall. When curious of its surroundings, a Black Bear will check the area out by standing to get a view or a good scent.
A bear is able to stand because of the way their paws have evolved. They are omnivores and don’t need to chase down prey like wolves or coyotes. Like humans, bears run flat-footed instead of on their toes. In a straight run some Black Bears have been clocked doing more than thirty miles an hour. (So I guess they could chase down prey if they wanted to).
The Black Bear’s claws have a helpful design which enables them to quickly climb trees. Their claws are unretractable and are curved. When climbing a Black Bear grabs a tree with its front feet and uses its hind legs to push itself upwards. Basically using the same motion as a man climbing to pick a coconut. Coming down the Black Bear gently slides like a fireman down a pole.
Young cubs are more likely than adults to retreat up a tree when threatened. An adult Black Bear will climb a tree to find something to eat or possibly just to take a nap.
Black Bears need a lot of living space. They appear to be massive carnivores but in reality they spend much of their time ranging for vegetation, fruits, and nuts. They will eat tender shoots of grasses and clovers. Black Bears will hunt out and consume water plantain, pickerelweed, water parsnip, and unfurling leaves of sapling trees. They also consume a wide variety of berries- juneberries, raspberries, blueberries, chokeberries, and (my favorite) sarsaparilla. An added treat are the great number of insects they eat- wasps, ants, etc. Unfortunately, with human habitation quickly creeping into their territories, many Black Bears have begun scavenging in trash cans and garbage dumps.
A very fascinating part of a bear’s life is hibernation, but only for the northern branches. Bears of the southern climates do not hibernate. It is surmised that when they became omnivores bears living in the northern climates found it difficult to survive. They had become too large and cumbersome to chase prey through the snow, also winter plants available were too low in nutrients.
In preparation of hibernation a Black Bear will begin gorging himself. (Much like my Uncle George). The Black Bear will consume three times more food per day at this time of year than they do in the spring or early summer. They will feed for almost 20 hours a day, gaining up to one-third of their body weight while they build fat reserves. Some bears will actually double their weight.
After the binge the Black Bear’s body system slowly begins to wind down and blood flow to its limbs gradually decreases.
The bear then will retire to a pre-chosen den. Females are usually the first to hit the hay. When the Black Bear is settled in their heart rate drops to 8 to 10 beats per minute. Its metabolism will function at 50 percent normal. Even though they truly sleep all winter long the Black Bear is easily awakened ( and probably very annoyed when their slumber is disturbed).
Black Bears hibernate for varying lengths of time, most experts agree that their average sleep is three-quarters of the year. Females actually give birth during the hibernation period.
Well that’s it for now, time to let sleeping bears lie.
I’ll be back tomorrow with a little story from my Grandparents.

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