Thanks to Peter Wenker for sending along these pictures of a bird-feeder thief. Though I don't have any details about where or when they were taken, there's no doubt in my mind that they're real, since bears are notorious bird-feeder thieves. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department even has instructions on their website
titled "Don't Let your Bird Feeder Become a Bear Feeder!" Their recommendations include: "Stop all bird feeding by April 1, or as soon as snow melts;" and, "Clean up any spilled birdseed and dispose of it in the trash."
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.
Last summer my daughter worked for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (or as we like to call them the Ministry of No Results) and someone in their Sudbury office emailed these photos with a note that a friend had taken them in their back yard.
Yes, that is a squirrel cone hiding in the leaves. They are supposed to deter the squirrels from raiding your bird feeders but they don't work worth shit. The best deterrent against squirrels is a small bear.
That must be some damn good bird feed.
Tensile strength of a 3/16 plastic rope is something like 1300 lbs. The biggest black bears are in the 800 lb range.
Bears are notorious bird feeder theives... a bear climbing around like a squirrel... stop feeding the birds by April Fool's Day. Suuuurrre.
In a scenario where a climber falls and is caught by a rope, the impact on the rope is a function not only of the rope's composition and the weight applied, but also of the ratio of the rope played out vs. the distance of the fall.
For instance, if the lead climber has 100 feet of rope played out, and is standing 5' above an anchor and falls, he falls a total of 10 feet before he's caught. Ratio of rope length vs. distance of fall is 10/100 or 1:10.
The worst-case scenario occurs when the lead climber starts from a belay station partway up the rock face, and falls before anchoring the rope. Let's say he climbs 10' and falls; the total distance of the fall is 20'. The ratio is 20'/10' or 2:1
The idea is: in the 2:1 scenario the impact of the fall was spread out over a much shorter length of rope so it's hard on the rope. In the 1:10 scenario the fall is spread out over so much rope that it's not impacted much.
In this bear scenario I think it matters what the rope is anchored to. Sort of like a fishing pole: the fact that it bends allows you to land a fish that may be substantially heavier than the rating of the fishing line.
I could clean this up but I gotta go...
The picture will not sit right as well with your thought processes. That is your subconscious telling you- it is fake, that it does not mesh and creates conflict with your understanding of previous pictures of the same and real life. You will get the same feeling if you see a bear leaping from rock to rock over a stream using only hind feet.
...you can clearly see the bear fur where the tree should be at 3:00.
Here's the reality:
Look again. The bear has just climbed up that tree. He's got his left hind leg still sorta wrapped around the tree - for balance. That's why you see fur "where the tree should be". It's probably the bear's knee - or his hip. I'm not familiar w/bear anatomy.
What I find "interesting" is the branch in photo 2, 3, and 4, but no branch in photo 1.
That thin rope would have to be tied pretty tight to bear the weight of a bear that size and not bend between the trees more than it is in the images (note I say images and not photos ;o).
My feeling on the branch is that the touch-up artist got tired of trying to manipulate the image of the rope and decided to put a branch there instead but couldn't do that in the first one or you would have seen no bear precariously hanging on the tree in the first image.
I think any bear, smarter than the average bear of course, could find an easier way to get some bird seed.
And that looks more like a bird house to me anyway.
Now, one of these feeders was on an aluminum post, which was broken off at the base support and dragged about a hundred feet into the woods, pole, squirrel baffle, and all, and smashed against a tree. A second hanging feeder was yanked from it's rope, taken into the woods again, and likewise smashed on a tree. The third feeder was pulled down from a height of about seven feet, branch and all, but apparently bears don't like nyjer seed, because that feeder was left on the ground, still full.
My point from this is that I don't think the bear in the pictures is going to extreme measures at all. That is definitely a bird feeder, and a good -sized one, meaning a large quantity of food. The bear probably actually enjoyed the adventure.
Could we hear from your brother to confirm that?
Back on April 4th of 2007, I laborously researched this, and and emailed whoever it was that posted it. I'm disappointed that the status hasn't been changed at least to reflect some ambiguity. I am happy to notice that many of my arguments have been used since I did the research.
I'd like to hear from Dave's brother Erik, though. I wouldn't mind being convinced. : )
1)READ WHAT NIC HAS TO SAY IN HIS MSG OF 7-27-07. HE'S GOT A LINK, THAT AFTER READING IT, I'M CONVINCED THAT THERE'S AT LEAST SOME 'PHOTOSHOPPING' DONE TO THE PICS.
2) APRIL FOOL'S DAY HS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO W/WHEN THIS HIT THE INTERNET. IT'S BEEN OUT THERE AT LEAST SINCE 2005 & I DON'T BELIEVE THAT IT WAS ANYWHERE NEAR APRIL.
3) NO ONE HS COME FORWARD WITH THE NAME AND/OR LOCATION OF THE PHOTOGRAPHER - WE'VE ONLY HEARD FROM PPL W/VAGUE INFO IN REFERENCE TO NEIGHBORS, RELATIVES, FRIENDS AND SUCH FROM SEVERAL DIFFERENT LOCATIONS - BOTH IN CANADA AND THE US. IF YOU'RE GOT CONCRETE INFO, LET US HAVE IT - PLEASE.
I am a photographer, film and digital, and I edit many of my photos in Photoshop, Fireworks, IrfanView, and others. The fact that the file was "Edited in PhotoShop" means nothing. What if it was a film photo, and they scanned it using PhotoShop? What if they have a PC-based photo album? There are many reasons why these images could have been opened in Elements, and the person who made this claim on that other website himself stated that he could find no pixel-based editing in the images. He beats his own argument.
Maybe they were cropped to reduce file size? Enlarged? These are all -edits-, and ones that no one would find fishy.
Why would anyone bother to fake this, anyway? It's no shark-jumping-up-and-biting-a-helicopter...
Second, for the last century, photographs WERE proof. So if this is a person, say, in their 30's or older, he would consider the picture proof.
And why do we not know who the photographer is? This is the Internet. A 60-year-old man could have sent the picture to his grandson, who thought it was cool enough to forward to his friends, who then posted it somewhere. That original guy, who MIGHT sell his old toys on eBay or something, has no idea we exist, nor does he care enough to search for it, because he saw it and took the pictures.
I feel sorry for you people growing up in the fledgling Internet generation, because you assume the worst of people. Speaking as someone who does graphics work, this picture would require so much time and effort, and be viewed by such a small audience, that faking would be pointless.
"Haha, I'm going to pull one over on the birding community! This will be legendary! A bear eating bird seed!"
We have spent more time debating the authenticity of these photos than the original photographer spent telling the story of the bear eating his seed.
If you really do graphics work, then you know this would not require that much time or effort to perform a little photochopping for your friends. It's a simple layering of two separate pictures.
There has been discussion about the weight of the bear on the rope. Since I don't see any scales or anything to scale the bear other than the feeder, I have no idea just how big the bear is. It could be a juvenile.
It appears to me that the first image was shot from a different angle than photos 2-4 which is why the tree in the first frame, from which the bear is launching itself onto the rope, is out of the frame. The photographer appears to have moved left and lower below the feeder. The branches and leaves we see on the left in the first photo are moved over to the right side and above the photographer in photos 2-4. I agree, also, with what Bellicose says about editing... anything could be the reason. In addition to re-sizing, the photographer (or someone else) could have lightened the images. It doesn't make them fake.
For the person who thinks this looks like a bird house rather than a feeder... you obviously aren't into feeding birds.
You're kidding, right?
Think about it. It's really not that difficult. Put those "crime fighting skills" you claim to have to work and figure it out.
Somebody can explain me?
And I have to agree with what one person said about the bears bottom in one of the photos being flat when if he were reallly hanging it would have been rounder and the hair would have been fluffy, not flat.
ha hahahahhahahahahaha, Um, NO.
I'm Erik. Dave's brother. You know the guy who posted in July 2007? What he said is true.
Why haven't I joined the thread earlier? Honestly, I haven't thought that much about the bear in the last 5 years.
The photos are real. The bear is real. I'm real.