Bear on my front porch this morning.
Yes, you’re supposed to take your bird feeders in during the spring so as not to attract bears coming out of hibernation. We’ve actually only had ours out for the last month or so.
Our reaction to the bear coming onto our porch today was “Hey, dammit, it’s JULY. Get lost. You’ve been awake for weeks.”
Parenthetically, it’s not illegal per se to have birdfeeders in Vermont. It’s generally accepted that you take them in at the end of the winter before bears wake from hibernation… but a lot of people put them back out again once late spring or early summer comes.
We checked the law, and the law says “it’s illegal to knowingly feed bears” — https://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/section/10/113/04827a — and so that more or less translates to “if you know bears are raiding your birdfeeders, it’s illegal to leave them out.”
So, yeah, we’ll be taking them in until winter. It’s a pity, because our cats absolutely love watching the birds, but the law is there for a reason. You don’t want to train the local bear population to see human habitations as places to get a snack.