a ‘new’ Jersey Girl   living life in the Highlands of New Jersey

Monday, May 19, 2008

Another Bear family

Early Saturday morning, Rick and I were at our computers in the office when we heard a strange sound. It sounded like a low moaning. Rick glanced over at the window and said in a voice so as not to alert the dogs, Lynne, bears! At first we weren’t sure how many there were, but then counted four. A mother and three cubs, one of which was very brown (not black like the other two) and much smaller. Last year’s cubs, but why was one so small? An odd family.

I know it’s hard to see them in the following photo since the tree is in the way. But you can at least see three black “things” and the little brown cub. I apologize in advance for the grainy quality of the photos. The front yard was still in shade and the bears were always in motion.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

I went upstairs and poked the camera out the window but it didn’t help much. I wanted to get their vocalizations on video. As I filmed, the mother bear decided to put one of the cubs in his/her place. Be sure to turn your volume up to listen to them.

The little brown cub made a hasty retreat to a different part of the yard.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

And contemplated going up this tree.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Momma decided to join him/her.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Just another day in northern New Jersey bear country!


It’s amazing to think that these sweet little guys could possibly grow up to be as huge as that troublemaker down below. 

I have to smile at that Mama Bear getting after her babies…just like human mamas and babies…

I rarely here momma bear tell off her kids. And it’s not brown! Father, momma, or either grandparent bear had the recessive trait of a slightly brown pigment. Thus the trait is passed on to the little one.
As for their size, they are second-year cubs. After their second spring, the mom will send them off (early-mid summer. aka mating season!)
It’s rare, but possible they have been let go by their mother and are now tagging along with fellow bears until they get into the swing of things. This would explain the agression of mom (or not mom) showed toward her kids. However, mother bears are less patient and more demanding of second-year cubs. Also explaining her agression, but opening up more questions!

Thanks, Luke for the info. And I only call it “brown” because it is brown in comparison to how black the others are. How about brownish or black-brown. wink

It was an odd bunch to be sure. Hard to figure out!

I always love seeing your bear pictures.

I’m certain I’ve never heard bear sounds before. Wow!

Being an urban creature, it’s hard to imagine what it would be like to have so much interaction with wild animals.

Thank you!!

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