Black Bear - Colorado Wildlife Council

Daily Calories

When preparing for hibernation, black bears will consume up to 20,000 calories a day. That’s comparable to an average person eating 40 Big Macs in one day!

Bear walking through a meadow

Black bears are the smallest, yet most widely distributed bear in North America, including in Colorado. The name black bear refers to the species name, not a specific coloration. Their fur coats can be honey, blonde, brown, cinnamon or black in color. Bears are highly motivated by food. They are very smart and remember all the best places to eat. In the fall, they forage for food for up to 20 hours a day to build up their fat reserves ahead of the long winter. Black bears are omnivores – over 90% of their natural diet is grasses, berries, fruits, nuts and plants. The rest is primarily insects and scavenged carcasses. With a nose that’s 100 times more sensitive than ours, a bear can literally smell food five miles away! We can bear-ly believe it, but it’s true.

Black bear in a field

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