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SHIRLEY — “It all started when our bird feeders were bent over and the seeds emptied out” in the mornings, said Lee Turmel of Squannacook Road. Those were the first signs the family had a nocturnal visitor.

Each time it happened, Turmel and his wife Nicole would re-right the bird feeders on their poles and re-fill them, thinking perhaps raccoons were raiding them.

But one feeder had a big metal post they didn’t think a raccoon could knock over. “So maybe three days during the week, they were bent over again,” Turmel continued. “That’s when I decided to get my traiCAM out and see what it was.”

He set up the camera, designed to photograph wildlife on the trail at night. But the bear came during daylight, around 6:30 p.m.

“Nicole happened to be home,” Turmel said. “She simply opened the windows and snapped pictures while it bent the feeders yet again and watched it eat all her bird seed.”

The bear incident occurred in late June. The Turmels haven’t put out any seed since.

Asked if they’d called Fish & Wildlife, Turmel said no, because he already knew there were bears in the neighborhood. An adult female black bear and three cubs were spotted elsewhere on the street earlier, he said.

Turmel, an avid bow hunter and fisherman, said from the size of it’s head, he identified the bear dining in his back yard as a male, weighing about 150 to 175 pounds.

The pictures are priceless. The bear looks right at home. “My two favorites are the one of him looking up at the bird feeder and the one where he’s eating the seeds,” Turmel said of his improptu bear photo gallery. “Then, of course, the one of the bear standing up is awesome!”