© 2023 Aspen Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Nature Almanac: looking for bears

 A bear in the Boulder yard of Ruth Carol and Glenn Cushman in Boulder,  after bashing birdfeeders.
Glenn Cushman
A bear in the Boulder yard of Ruth Carol and Glenn Cushman in Boulder.

Bears are fattening up for their winter hibernation.

Boulder naturalist Ruth Carol Cushman ventured out into Bear Canyon, on the lookout for signs of bears.

Cushman is the author and co-author of numerous nature books including Colorado Nature Almanac: A Month-by-Month Guide to Wildlife and Wild Places.

Cushman says looking for bear scat is a good way to find where bears have been.

"That's one reason you can know bears are around, if you see their poop. It's usually kind of big, like a platter of poop," she said.

On a recent hike in Boulder County, Cushman met a bear on the trail and offers the following advice.

"If you do encounter a bear, of all things don't run from it, just try to slowly walk away, unless the bear started coming to me, then I'd definitely try to look big and yell and scream and wave my arms," said Cushman.

Bears are omnivorous, eating plants and animals.

"They eat the fruit, including very tiny blueberries, apples, they will eat almost anything, including if they catch them, small mammals, but they're unlikely to eat a person," said Cushman.

This story from KGNU was shared with Aspen Public Radio via Rocky Mountain Community Radio, a network of public media stations in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico including Aspen Public Radio.

Shelley Schlender is a freelance radio journalist whose features have aired nationally on Living on Earth, Making Contact, Free Speech Radio News, and Sprouts. Her radio features have aired internationally on The Voice of America. She produces Nature Almanac every month on KGNU and is one of the producers of the KGNU science show How on Earth.