What a black bear eat?

Black bears may be the least carnivorous of the "carnivores" of North America. They consume a wide variety of seasonally abundant herbs, forbs, fruits, berries, nuts, and other plant parts and products. The specific plants may differ among the a number of ecoregions of North America. However, certain trends are evident. Spring foods are predominantly grasses, sedges, shoots and other high-protein lush green vegetation. Deer and other carcasses may be scavenged, as well as leftover nuts. Skunk cabbage is important in Massachusetts and squaw root in the southern Appalachians. During summer, bears shift to energy-rich "soft mast" foods such as huckleberries, blackberries, raspberries, grapes, and cherries. Protein-rich insects such as ants, wasps, and beetle larvae are usually taken.

Crayfish, frogs, birds' eggs, mice, red squirrels, woodchucks, snowshoe hare, and other animal food are occasionally eaten. Then, in autumn (where available), "hard mast" items including acorns, hickory nuts, beechnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts, and similar foods are taken. Corn is also eaten where available. Bears can make tremendous weight gains in fall, as much as 3 to 4 lbs. per day. However, in northern areas, where hard mast is lacking, bears must rely only on berry crops for weight gain and den after those are exhausted. Bears, especially adult males, and especially when foods are scarce, may travel up to 125 miles outside their home range in late summer and early fall to a concentrated food source before returning home to den.

Black bears may be the least carnivorous of the "carnivores" of North America. They consume a wide variety of seasonally abundant herbs, forbs, fruits, berries, nuts, and other plant parts and products. The specific plants may differ among the a number of ecoregions of North America. However, certain trends are evident. Spring foods are predominantly grasses, sedges, shoots and other high-protein lush green vegetation. Deer and other carcasses may be scavenged, as well as leftover nuts. Skunk cabbage is important in Massachusetts and squaw root in the southern Appalachians. During summer, bears shift to energy-rich "soft mast" foods such as huckleberries, blackberries, raspberries, grapes, and cherries. Protein-rich insects such as ants, wasps, and beetle larvae are usually taken.

Crayfish, frogs, birds' eggs, mice, red squirrels, woodchucks, snowshoe hare, and other animal food are occasionally eaten. Then, in autumn (where available), "hard mast" items including acorns, hickory nuts, beechnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts, and similar foods are taken. Corn is also eaten where available. Bears can make tremendous weight gains in fall, as much as 3 to 4 lbs. per day. However, in northern areas, where hard mast is lacking, bears must rely only on berry crops for weight gain and den after those are exhausted. Bears, especially adult males, and especially when foods are scarce, may travel up to 125 miles outside their home range in late summer and early fall to a concentrated food source before returning home to den.