Height: About 3 feet at the shoulder and 5–7 feet tall when standing upright
Weight: Ranges from 100 to 600 pounds depending on age, sex, and season
Average Life Span: 15–25 years
Did You Know? Despite their name, black bears can be black, cinnamon, blonde, blue/gray, or even white!
American black bears (Ursus americanus) are the most common and widely distributed species of bears in North America. They can be found anywhere from forested areas to the beach to the alpine zone.
While bears of the same species might look similar, everything from their size, coloring, diet, and sleeping patterns depend on the bear and its location. For example, a bear’s diet varies depending on what foods are available during a specific season in a specific region. The home range for an adult black bear can vary depending on the location, season, and food availability.
Let’s take a look at two different black bears, one in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and another in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve to see how they differ in diet, winter denning, and life cycle. For more information about bears and bear behavior in a specific national park, please contact that park.