Mischievous Moose Mistakes Bird Feeder For Snack Bar
Picking up and moving to Alaska 3 years ago was a move that just made sense for Brewer native, Megan Pike. Growing up in Maine, Pike spent her childhood hunting and fishing with her dad, Brian. She also spent time hiking parts of the Appalachian Trail through her job with L.L. Bean, and spent a number of summers as a Camp Counselor at Camp CaPella. So to say that she's comfortable "in the wild" would be an understatement.
But it seems, as Pike has been learning, "the wild" in Alaska sometimes makes itself comfortable wherever it chooses...even in your front yard.
Recently, Pike had attached a clear plastic bird feeder to her big picture window. But over the past few weeks, she's had to replace it because it's been damaged by an unknown assailant.
"At first we thought it was a squirrel. We have a very aggressive squirrel and have already gone through 2 birdfeeders. And so I've been thinking he's jumping on it, and it's hitting the ground and cracking. But today, we found out who the true culprit was."
This morning, Indie, Pike's dog, alerted her to the visitor at the window...
"I couldn't believe it! I mean, well, we have them all the time in the neighborhood, I heard something hit the window this morning, and obviously the dog started barking like crazy and I thought--oh, you know, it must be a big bird or a squirrel or something, and it's hitting it's butt on my house! I'm like 'Get out of here! What are you doing?' Anyway, just another day in Alaska! "
She was able to capture the moment on her camera, and well, check it out for yourself!
Pike said she wasn't exactly surprised to find out that a moose was the culprit...
"Moose are so mischievous. But it is pretty shocking. It takes you a second to register what it really is. And my second thought was 'Where's the other one?' Because that's a momma moose and she has a baby, and so baby was actually around the back chewing on some grass. I'd like to say it was more surprising, but they're around the house all the time."
Pike, who now lives in Soldotna, Alaska and works for an environmental non-profit doing stewardship and education, says seeing a moose so close has come to be a pretty normal occurrence at this point.
"We always see moose when they're walking in the yard like that. It's called 'yarding'. So moose will walk around and make paths for themselves, so we have quite a bit of moose yarding in our yard. But I didn't know they ate bird seed. I mean, I guess it makes sense. But we were assuming it was a squirrel. It's not great to feed wildlife...and I wouldn't encourage anyone to put out feeders to feed the wildlife, however, it is fun to run into it when it happens."
Pike says she has noticed a difference between the wildlife she's spent time with home in Maine versus the wildlife she's encountered while living in Alaska.
"There's more of them here. We see about 10 to 15 moose a day. They're more social because they're around people and in your yard. Moose in Maine are very timid. The same with bears in Maine; they're very timid. But here they have the space and the confidence they need, I guess. Like if you run in to a black bear in Maine, generally speaking, you know, you're not going to have an interaction with that bear. It's going to be too timid. But up here, we live in the bears' habitat and we live in the moose's habitat. They don't live in ours. We live in theirs. And there are so many of them that they assert their dominance, for sure. Not often aggressively, but they're just definitely more comfortable."
Pike says growing up hunting with her dad, since she was 10, definitely helped prepare her for life in Alaska.
"It gave me the steward's ethic and the love of the outdoors, which you need have up here. Because if you don't it, you don't want to stay. And so just growing up with him, out in the woods, I would definitely say has contributed to me loving it up here, and enjoying it."
On a personal note, I've known Megan, since she was knee-high to a grasshopper, as they say. For as long as I've known her, she's had a wonderful sense of adventure and she's done a brilliant job documenting and sharing these adventures, which I have always appreciated. Thanks, Megan, for taking us on this journey with you, and sharing these experiences you have along the way. They sure are neat!
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