Bear Sighting in Our Backyard

Some of you are probably thinking “yea so…we see bears all the time where we live”…but it’s not that common around the beltway of our nation’s capital.

I have lived in the Washington DC area my entire life and last week was the first time I ever saw a bear in or around the DC area let alone on our property!

It appears that the bear we sighted was an American Black Bear. The American Black Bear is the smallest of the 3 species of bears found in the United States and they are only found in North America. I was happy to find out that black bears are omnivorous. They eat plants, fruits, nuts, insects, honey, salmon, and small mammals. In northern regions, they eat spawning salmon. Black bears will also occasionally kill young deer or moose calves.

The American black bear lives throughout North America, from Canada to Mexico and in at least 40 of the United States. They historically occupied nearly all of the forested regions of North America, but in the U.S. they are now restricted to the forested areas less densely occupied by humans. So how did one wonder into our back yard in Northern Virginia?

Let me tell you it was a very weird site. Our family was lounging in the family room and kitchen when my 10 year old son says “there’s a bear in our backyard”! I thought yea..ok…sure.

Low and behold, I got myself off the sofa to look out the window…and yup..he was right. A big black bear outside our fenced in backyard just strolling by.

fullsizeoutput_a0d5I didn’t get a good picture but I did post the sighting to my Instagram Stories. I ran out to the backyard and started filming this incredibly unusual site. The kids ran outside with me. The bear wandered over to our neighbor’s yard and ran away when they started pulling out of their driveway.

It’s funny but I wasn’t scared of the bear, I thought he was kind of cute. Maybe I should have been more scared? I am deathly afraid of snakes – the sight of those slivery reptiles gives me the creeps 🤢..but not bears…why is that? My husband later told me, he could easily have hopped the fence and attacked us. I never really thought about that…maybe because we never see bears in Northern Virgina.

black-bear-standing1-700x539Wildlife is abundant in our area to include deer, turkey, snakes, fowls, raccoons, groundhogs..many of the typical animals you would expect to see living in the country. But the bear sighting was really weird, not something I will soon forget. I also discovered that black bears are more afraid of us that we are of them, so an attack is unlikely…unless they are really hungry? 🤷‍♀️

How about you, what is the strangest animal you have seen on or around your property?



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14 thoughts on “Bear Sighting in Our Backyard

  1. WOW! That’s quite something! I wonder where he came from? Or where he went back to!? Have you seen him since? (And well, bears are a lot cuter and furrier than snakes!) 🙂 I used to live by a big park and saw foxes a couple times pretty close up. I found a baby seal at the beach once… but only pets and bunnies in the yard! Thanks for the fun info, and sharing your exciting sighting!

    1. Hi Barbara, I have no idea what happened to the bear after he left our house. We have foxes too, they make a horrible screaming noise that sounds really eerie. But the bear was wild for sure. Thanks for stopping by and reading!

      1. Denise could you please contact me about the Bear photo ….need your permission to use it…it would be so much appreciated!!!

  2. Yes Denise, he looked like he’s ready for some kind of bear dancing, well, I don’t know his next move, only the one you snap! But I heard that they are dangerous, so… be careful 🙂

    1. Thanks Mel, yes we will be careful. It was so wild seeing him stroll by..never seen a sight like that before. But you’re right, if they are hungry they are probably dangerous.

    1. Really Toya? Oh no. It’s spooky to see them walk around your house. They look harmless enough but who knows?

  3. I have never seen a bear, but I’ve heard they can attack people very quickly if you are between them and their young, or a food source like a garbage can! They are farther north of where I live or out west. I bet your son was thrilled!

    1. Hi Joni, yes if hungry, I’m sure you’re right! Freaky! Yes he was thrilled, it was quite the sight! Hope you’re doing well!

      1. Good for you!!! Then you can sit back and watch the progress…the best part! SO excited for you Joni!

      2. It is exciting! I picked Muslin by Benjamin Moore, but only after trying out 3 other samples first, all of which looked like mud in my north facing kitchen! Sales clerk told me it goes with everything and it looks good. Ripping out this Sat, with electrical upgrade Sat as well, then painter Mon, hope to install late next week, before the holiday weekend if it works for the cabinet place schedule.

      3. Sounds like you have it worked out perfectly! Can’t wait to hear about how it goes!

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