What Is a Bear’s Favorite Food? | Delving Into Bears’ Food and Diet

Bear attacks have caused injuries and much worse, fatalities. As much as possible, humans should avoid them. But they also roam in search of food during the season ideal for outdoor activities.

Thus, it’s advised to keep your food and cooking area secured when camping, hunting, or hiking. If you spend a lot of time doing these activities, you have to know the behavior of bears. You have to be particular with what they eat too.

What is a bear’s favorite food? Bears eat a lot of foods that humans consume, like fish, honey, fruits, nuts, roots, and tubers. They also eat insects and small mammals. Bears can eat fresh meat, so they can be called a carnivore. But it’s a full-time omnivore because it can eat a wide variety of food.

Based on the foods that the bears eat, they share the same place in the food chain with humans. Hence, there’s a competition for food. Bears have an excellent smelling sense than humans.

It’s much easier for them to hunt for food, even the ones that you have. Aside from being careful, it’s best to exactly know the bear’s diet.

Are Bears Always Hungry?

Are Bears Always Hungry

Bears hibernate during winter, and it’s when their respiration, body temperature, and pulse rate drop. Their metabolism also slows down. It’s common knowledge that there’s a food shortage during winter.

Before hibernation, bears hunt for food to prepare for the winter. They do it as the summer ends.

In the fall, it’s the time that bears seem to be always hungry. This behavior is referred to as hyperphagia, which is when bears eat and drink nonstop. They’re very active, so there’s a high chance to see them around.

When you do outdoor activities during fall, be very attentive to how you display and keep your food.

In spring, they wake up from hibernation hungry because everything that they store before winter is all replenished. Since it’s the season of growth, the food source abounds, so they take time nourishing themselves.

However, bears can be active in winter if they have access to the food supply.

Do Hungry Bears Eat Humans?

Do Hungry Bears Eat Humans

Biologists who conducted a frenzy bear program in Alaska used a mannequin as bait. The bear attacked the mannequin and left big claw marks. If it were a human, it would be a bloody disaster with broken bones.

It may seem like a savage attack, but there’s news about a hungry bear that attacked and ate a man. It took place in Khabarovsk, a region in Russia.

What Do Bears Eat in a Day?

What Do Bears Eat in a Day

Do Bears Like Honey?

Bears like honey, so they’re drawn to beehives. They even consume the protein-rich larvae and bees inside the hive. That’s why beekeepers are advised to have an electric fence around their farms to hinder the bears from unconsented harvesting of honey.

Do Bears Eat Snakes?

There are no reported cases of bears eating snakes. So far, no traces of snakes can be found in a snake’s scat. Only the snake’s skin was eaten by a four-month-old bear cub in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. This is backed up by a study that focuses on how bears react towards snakes.

The agonistic and vigilant behavior of bears when seeing moving snakes is noted by their young even though they’re omnivorous, which means being open to exploring food sources. Bears only display these behaviors when the snakes move.

The findings of the said study also include that the bears can’t determine whether the snake is venomous or not. Once the snake moves, it’s the only time that bears walk away from it. 

Bears can detect a snake if it emits a pungent odor like garter snakes. There’s an exemption since bears in Minnesota and northern Michigan are not threatened by a non-venomous snake. Still, they don’t bother catching snakes even though they eat other vertebrae.

Do Bears Eat Oranges?

Bears eat oranges which can be part of a frozen treat in zoos.

Do Bears Like Potatoes?

Bears like root crops, so they eat potatoes too. When you have these crops, the bears will be attracted to your garden or farm.

Do Bears Like Grapes?

Bears like fruits such as grapes can also be added to a frozen treat.

Do Bears Like Onions?

Bears like onions as they use their claws to dig these crops.

Do Bears Eat Lettuce?

Just like fruits, lettuce is one of the treats for bears. They can devour some heads of it.

Do Bears Eat Watermelon?

Bears eat watermelon as it can be a part of the refreshing, frozen treat.

Do Bears Eat Chickens?

Bears are considered one of the chickens’ predators. Thus, it’s advised to put an electric fence around the poultry. For further assurance, you can also add wire or mesh around the housing of your chickens. The wire or mesh should be buried at least a foot deep so wild animals like bears can’t dig it.

Do Bears Eat Rats?

Bears are carnivorous, so they eat rodents like rats.

Do Bears Eat Dead Animals?

Bears eat dead animals as they take the leftover carrion from other predators. They would take it since they don’t need to put effort into hunting.

What Part of Fish Do Bears Eat?

Bears eat the whole fish, as stated in the carcass survey of salmon in a study from the University of Washington. It’s mentioned that bears consume the fish’s body, belly, brain, hump, and skin tissues. Bears go fishing in summer, and they’re after salmon.

There are numerous salmon that bears can hunt just using their claws. This fish is more digestible than other bears’ foods like ants, berries, and tubers. You’ll even see a bear eating salmon the whole day in a stream.

For instance, a bear that weighs 500 pounds can stuff itself with 75 pounds of salmon which is equivalent to 65,000 calories per day.

Do Bears Eat Honey?

Bears eat honey, but it’s mostly for the bee brood as a protein source.

What Do Grizzly Bears Eat?

What Do Grizzly Bears Eat

Grizzly bears eat berries, fruits, grasses, forbs, and fleshy roots. It’s also after rodents, hoofed animals like deer, elk, and moose, fish specifically salmon, and rodents such as squirrels.

Furthermore, it can also prey on domesticated animals like sheep and cattle. Summing up the diet of a grizzly bear, it comes out that it’s mostly carnivore.

What Do Black Bears Eat?

Black bears eat both plants and meat. For example, they like berries, roots, succulent plants, grass, larvae, insects, and fish. They can scavenge on human garbage and enjoy pet food.

Are Black Bears Vegetarian?

Black bears are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plants and animals. While they do primarily feed on vegetation such as berries, nuts, and grasses, they also hunt for insects, fish, and small mammals. In some areas, they may also scavenge for human food sources.

Do Black Bears Eat Deer?

Black bears are known to hunt and eat deer, particularly fawns, although this is not a significant part of their diet.

Do Black Bears Eat Rabbits?

Since small animals are one of the food sources, black bears eat rabbits.

What Do Brown Bears Eat?

What Do Brown Bears Eat

Brown bears eat a variety of foods, just like other bear species. They consume nuts, fruits, berries, tubers, bulbs, moss, fungi, and moth larvae for high protein. For more protein, they prey on hoofed animals.

They sometimes prey on black bears too. The brown bears in Alaska feast on the young moose and caribou as well as carrion.

What Do Polar Bears Eat?

What Do Polar Bears Eat

When polar bears are on annual ice or thin ice, they eat and nourish themselves with seal’s blubber and fat. This food source is easy to digest, and polar bears can get energy from it. They also eat walruses and beluga whales but on rare occasions.

Polar bears still hunt when they’re on land for birds, reindeers, and rodents. When they’re so hungry, they can rummage through garbage and settle for vegetation.

Can You Eat a Bear?

You can eat a bear. There are many book recipes about bears like the Black Bear Recipe Guide. You can learn how to make bear meat into steak, pie, jerky, smoked meat, and more.


All bears are omnivorous, so they can eat a variety of foods. Thus, it can’t be avoided that they share and compete with humans for the same food source. Both bears and humans are in the same section of the food chain.

With this knowledge, you have to be careful with your food when camping or doing other outdoor activities.

List of Sources

Coexisting With Bears: Managing Bear Attractants

Bear Attacks

Black Bear (Ursus americanus)

When Bears Prepare For Winter

Polar Bears

2 thoughts on “What Is a Bear’s Favorite Food? | Delving Into Bears’ Food and Diet”

  1. I have every few months bear destroy our farm fence and chicken fence and makes a mess out of the yard. Any idea how to prevent that? Not sure what to do as damage it does sets us back each time.

    • Hi Marvin,
      If bears are damaging your farm and chicken fences, there are a few steps you can take to try to prevent it. First, secure your trash in bear-resistant cans or dumpsters to reduce the likelihood of bears coming onto your property.
      Remove any potential food sources such as bird feeders, compost piles, and pet food. Electric fencing can be an effective deterrent for bears, or you can consider installing bear-resistant fencing.
      If the problem persists, you may want to consult with a local wildlife expert or bear specialist for additional advice.
      I hope this helps.


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