Nature Notes

Vol. V July 1st, 1927 Summer Season. No. 1


Bears are on an increase in the Park, at least they are increasing in numbers about the camps and park hotels.

The pacific attitude of man toward the bear in the park is now bearing fruit. Bruin originally was shy and retiring, avoiding camps and settlements. But, with the banishment of the dog and gun, he has become a knight of the road, and like the hobo, in past seasons, has been content to beg his meals at the hotels' back door or stand patiently near the feasting camper, content with the crumbs from his table.

But crumbs no longer satisfy bruin. He has invited so many of his wild wilderness uncles, cousins, and aunts to share the food of the camper with him that the whole bear family had to face the deplorable condition of having to labor for a living again. Bruin, however, is adaptable. Why work and slave for a living when one is strong and plenty may be had for the taking? So bruin has, by degrees, changed from hobo to robber. No longer is he content to timidly raid the garbage can, but he now boldly follows where his nose leads and enters, unannounced, the campers kitchen, not being overly careful of how he gets in or overly tidy about how he leaves things after finishing his feast. Like all robbers, he likes particularly to find the owner absent. He has also learned that even the automobile has gustatory potentialities and several machines parked by unsuspecting tourists this season have had the appearance of just emerging from a Texas cyclone after one of his visits.

Bruin's attitude on pacificism is like that of many people on charity with the other fellow, doing all the giving. Now the Park Ranger has a new worry, "How shall he teach the bear to reciprocate?

Charles Landes, Ranger Naturalist.


The beautifully colored Western Pileated Woodpecker is usually a rather shy bird. On June 22nd, a male bird of this species invaded the National Park Service "village" at Longmire, showing no more timidity than a "garbage can" bear. The Pileated Woodpecker is the largest woodpecker inhabiting the park. The male bird is as large as a pigeon, mostly black, but with a flaming red crest, and patches of white on the wings and body. Though not often seen, its size and coloration are unmistakable. After sampling the trees at "headquarters", this unusually sociable individual flew away, rather disappointed-looking, one might say, at the scarcity of ants and bark-beetles.

S. B. Jones, Ranger, Naturalist.

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