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“It’s time to take down your bird feeders.”

The warning comes from the Mass Wildlife Newsletter and is directed at people who live in areas where bears have been spotted. Mass Wildlife is more formally called the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.

The bears are no longer hibernating and are active and seeking food. The hungry critters will bypass natural sources like skunk cabbage in favor of the easy pickings in your back yard.

Remove those bird feeders, garbage and open compost. Secure the bee hives, livestock and chickens.

Bears are expanding their range eastward as the population increases. Visit mass.gov/bears for more information.