About Me

My photo
Spofford, New Hampshire, United States
Jeff Newcomer has been a physician practicing in New Hampshire and Vermont for over 30 years. Over that time, as a member of the Conservation Commission in his home of Chesterfield New Hampshire, he has used his photography to promote the protection and appreciation of the town's wild lands. In recent years he has been transitioning his focus from medicine to photography, writing and teaching. Jeff enjoys photographing throughout New England, but has concentrated on the Monadnock Region and southern Vermont and has had a long term artistic relationship with Mount Monadnock. He is a featured artist in a number of local galleries and his work is often seen in regional print, web publications and in business installations throughout the country. For years Jeff has published a calendar celebrating the beauty of The New England country-side in all seasons. All of the proceeds from his New England Reflections Calendar have gone to support the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at the Cheshire Medical Center. Jeff has a strong commitment to sharing his excitement about the special beauty of our region and publishes a weekly blog about photography in New England.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Birds and a Bear

Proud Goldfinch
So here is the story.

For years Susan and I have been frustrated by periodic bear attacks on our bird feeders.  The feeder would suddenly be missing or dragged away down the embankment toward Partridge Brook, and the Sheppard hook would be bent down in a curve, often impossible to straighten.  Sometimes we could salvage the sadly mauled feeder, but after our most recent attack this summer the poor thing was devastated beyond repair.

Male Cardinal

We love our birds, with the feeders attracting Chickadees, Titmouse, Woodpeckers, Cardinals, Nuthatches, Purple and House Sparrows, and, this year, an especially prolific and brilliant collection of Goldfinch.  We could not forsake our feathered friends, so we got a new feeder and set it out among a collection of branches hung to provide convenient perching locations.  The branches also provided me the opportunity to photograph the birds in more natural appearing settings.

Over the last couple of weeks, the birds have gone crazy, camping on the branches, and draining our new, larger, feeder every day.  Because the bears have always attacked at night, we resumed bringing the feeder into the house every evening.  No problem?

Over the years, our feeders have probably been bear smacked 6-7 times.  It is annoying, but most frustrating for me as a photographer is that during all this time, I have never seen, much less been able to photograph, one of these felons. 

Earlier this week on my return from a walk, I noticed that the feeder was missing.  It was noon, and I knew that it could not have been a bear attack, not in the middle of a bright and busy summer day, but the feeder was gone.  And then I saw the bear lurking at the edge of the steep bank leading down to Partridge Brook. For just one second, I cursed my presumptions about daytime attacks, and then I ran into the house to get my camera, quickly attaching my 100-400mm telephoto.  When I returned outside, the bear was gone, and I cursed myself a second time for not grabbing a quick and fuzzy iPhone pic of the beast when I had the chance. I was certain that my compulsion to “gear-up” had robbed me of the chance to finally capture a shot of our bear.

The bear was nowhere to be seen and I heard no rustling in the woods.  Dejectedly, I wandered to the edge of the bank hoping to catch a glimpse of the bear retreating far below along the brook. 


Then suddenly, a black apparition jumped from behind a tree, just 20 feet from my nearly soiled underwear. We stared, he huffed, and then something strange and stupid happened.  Before I retreated to our deck, I actually stood and snapped several quick pictures of the face-off. I don’t know what I was thinking.  I can only guess that my photographer’s brain must have taken over and refused to miss yet another chance to “bag” my bear.  I don’t remember if I attempted to focus, but I must have tried, since the focal length was 320mm and I was expecting to see something far down the bank.  I had no chance to make any other adjustments and, on aperture priority of f14, the shutter was only 1/25th second.  Not surprisingly, two of the three images were a bit blurry, but miraculously, one shot was passably sharp.  In retrospect, I am only happy that I had no pictures of massive claws descending onto my head. Good sense quickly took over, and I scampered back to the relative safety of our deck.

Again, the bear had disappeared, but just as I caught my breath, Mr. Bear returned.  He meandered along the bank edge and nearly chased us into house when he ventured further into the yard.  He turned out to be a very cooperative model, but my decision to grab my telephoto was vindicated.  I was able to get sharp close-up shots with the lens stabilized on the deck railing. He was an impressive beast, probably at least 250-300 lbs., but my estimate may have been affected by our earlier close encounter.  Incidentally, I feel comfortable referring to the bear as “he” since review of my images provided ample evidence of his gender.

I finally bagged my bear and learned some important lessons. First, we can no longer feed our birds in the summer.  Removing the feeder at night is no longer proof against increasingly bold animals.  We hope to salvage our feeder from down by the brook, but it won’t be rehung until after hibernation in the winter.  Second, being surprised by a bear, 20 feet away, is not the time for photographs – duh!  Black bears generally do not attack humans, but that was crazy.  Finally, I will miss all my beautiful birds, but during the summer they will have no problem finding food.  I will be there for them when the snow flies.

It may be awhile before I get another chance to capture such great bear shots, but I will be satisfied grabbing many more pictures of our little grandson, “Bear Cub” Owen.

Jeff Newcomer, NEPG


  1. Really enjoyed reading your bear blog! Wonderful wonderful pictures! Glad you weren't hurt!

  2. Two full thumbs up for this magneficent article of yours. I've really refreshing examining this article today and I figure this might be a champion among other article that I've scrutinized yet. dog looking like lion, If its all the same to you keep this work proceeding in a comparative quality.

  3. https://www.renewmyhealth.org/what-is-a-cataract-understanding-the-condition/

  4. With round-the-clock Call Girls near Pune Airport availability of most of our call girls, easiest online booking, on-time delivery,Call Girls near Pune Bus Stand commitment to providing quality services and maximum pleasure,Russian Escorts Agency in Agra our escorts will fulfill your sexual fantasy as per your Punjabi Escorts in Dehradun fetish and requirements in the most convenient and affordable way.Punjabi Escorts in Dehradun So, what are you waiting for?Call Girls near Gurgaon Airport Browse profiles of our fabulous escorts and book your most preferred escort now.

  5. Escort in Dehradun Order a girl with Dehradun Escorts strength is a fun way to spend the twilight. You realize slim escorts, busty escorts, bhabhi escorts, luxury escorts, and better.

    Dehradun Escorts | Escorts in Dehradun | Call girls in Dehradun

  6. Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here!
    It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained!부산달리기

  7. This is a wonderful piece of work shared by the owner of the site. I am very interested in this type of information. Your permission to share this information with you is greatly appreciated. Your constant updating is much appreciated. We appreciate you sharing with us. Here's How to Make Video Calls with Facebook Messenger.

  8. Very good written article. It will be supportive to anyone who utilizes it, including me.
    Keep doing what you are doing ? can’r wait to read more posts.
    very nice article.

    Again, awesome web site! 휴게텔


  9. That's a great and valuable piece of information. I am glad that you shared this useful information with us. This is a very useful way to keep us informed. I appreciate you sharing this. I also have a blog about Spacebar Shortcut for chrome 88. There is a lot of information in alternative key for spacebar.

  10. If you're looking for experienced Online Doctor For Treating different types of headaches, TelMDCare can help you. They're a leading virtual healthcare center with a team of professional virtual doctors, who can treat your headache pain.

  11. The fastest and safest ride to the airport in London.Clean and comfortable cars. Fully licensed taxi services. one of the most trusted taxi services in London. Meet & greet. special airport rates.
    Book in under 60 seconds. Professional drivers.24 hours assistance. Our services include taxi transfers to Gatwick, Heathrow, London, Luton & Stansted airport. we are here to make you comfortable and hassle less for. Friendly and reliable taxi service at competitive prices. Our commitment to you is quality and long-lasting.


  12. I'm so happy you have found
    Airport Transfer service from City Airport Taxis. Book your private airport transfers online, for a reliable transportation service at competitive, all inclusive prices