It has been very cold in the neighborhood, with the temperature at or below 0F overnight, for the past week. So when a neighbor called to tell me a bear had destroyed their bird feeder it was time to investigate. Most people assume that bears hibernate during the winter, but they tend to slow down during the winter, they are not true hibernators. The damaged bird feeder.
With an inch or so of snow on the ground it was easy to track the bear as it went into the brush behind the neighbor's house. I started to follow the bear tracks to see if it visited any other neighbors. Since this brush lot had some trails mowed through it I took the easy path around the brush and looked for where the tracks came out of the brush. These tracks went into the brush, but didn't come out. The bear was still in the brush.
I went back to where the track entered the brush and followed the tracks in. Within 20 yards I found this nest the bear had made from dry goldenrod. I had walked within 15 yards of the bear on my first pass around the brush lot. The bear waited until I had walked past it before it ran out of the brush and over the hill.
This shows how the bear gathered the goldenrod to make its nest which was less than 200 yards from the neighbor's house.