What is a bear’s habitat?
Bears prefer various habitats depending on their location and species. Yellowstone bears often prefer different habitats, although both species sometimes overlap. Black bears from North America are mostly wild creatures, preferring big woody areas with various nut- and fruit-producing species and small gateways that stimulate the fruiting of different shrub species. Wetlands and lowlands are crucial sources of succulent vegetation. Pools and streams are required for cooling and drinking. Also, trees that have a diameter of more than 20 inches with a robust wrinkled bark are easy to climb for cabs of spring black bear cubs, and old-growth trees are preferred sheltering sites.
Bears have been a symbol of Yellowstone National Park for a long time. It is one of the best venues in the world to see wild bears. It is inhabited by both grizzly and black bears and is a bear observer’s paradise for those people who would like to observe bears. The main reason for most people to visit Yellowstone is to see Yellowstone bears. It is possible to come across ten to fifteen bears in a day in this massive natural reserve.
For most of Yellowstone’s history, bears stole and begged food from humans. They would align along the roadsides, and people would throw food out to them from their cars or get out and feed the bears using their hands. Hotel operators would attract the bears by dumping food trash, which led to massive gatherings of bears scavenging the garbage with several people watching.
These days, Yellowstone bears usually don’t steal or beg for food from people, so you have to do some work to see them, but once you trace them, bears show several natural behaviors. They are lively throughout Yellowstone in fall, summer, and spring, and then they hibernate throughout winter, emerging sometime in March and early April.
Bears are ultimate omnivores, eating about everything and anything from roots to moose, deer, elk, fish, flowers, pine nuts, rodents, insects, and berries. They can feed on pretty any animal they catch.
Bear Spotting Approaches
It is not easy to differentiate a grizzly from a black bear. Grizzlies have a prominent shoulder hump while black bears come in various colors. Grizzlies also have more significant and stronger claws, but you must be close enough to differentiate the claws.
To increase your chances of seeing a bear, you need to go late or early in the day. Like most wild animals, bears are most active around dusk and dawn. They love lower light and cooler temperatures to move silently when seeking for food. It is also possible to spot a bear during the day, especially during cold weather, but during summer, your likelihood of spotting bears out in the heat is lower as they tend to sleep in the forest.
Lamar Valley and Hayden Valley are excellent places to spot both species of Yellowstone bears. You can drive through the valleys and stop in paved enclosures to scan for bears. The roads are located in high spots where you can scan the movement right from your car.
Be ready to spend some time observing and waiting. Patience pays. Bears in open parks are almost always eating or moving. Also, if a bear is visible, someone will probably see it before you. As you drive, look for people with spotting cameras and scopes. Stop and look for yourself to spot the animal. If you see nothing, you can politely ask the other person to spot the animal for you.