Sleeping through some, or most of the winter, as Black Bears (Ursus americanus) do, has been referred to as winter sleep, carnivorean lethargy, dormancy or torpor. Now leading physiologists simply call this long sleep, hibernation.
We humans sometimes get up in the middle of the night for a midnight snack. Black Bears are known to do a similar thing in the middle of winter. During a warm spell, one may stumble from his den in search of something to eat. I saw one here in my yard about this time, last year, looking like he needed something to nibble on.
I’m hoping the bears around here will sleep through this warm spell. I’m putting out black oil sunflower seeds for the birds, and I would prefer that the bears do not tamper with the feeders. Last year, the bear I saw didn’t damage the bird feeders. Maybe I’ll be as lucky this year. Stay tuned!