Black bear turning up boulder on beach

When the tide is out, bears check the larder (click to enlarge photos).

Boulders on many beaches along our coast are always being moved about, and not just by waves – it turns out that bears have a big paw in the process.

If you’re anchored fairly close to shore in what we call a “bearable” place, you might see one rearranging the beach at low tide, like the Black bear in these photos.

From our boat, less than 200 feet away, we watched the bear amble across the rocky intertidal area, lifting and turning over one sizeable boulder after another in search of the tasty treats below.  We could hear the clatter as each rock flipped over. The exercise looked effortless to the bear – underscoring just how powerful these critters are. (If that fails to convince you, click twice on a photo and check out the size of those claws.)

Black bear eating what it found under boulder on beach

Tiny shore crabs and other invertebrates may seem paltry for a big bruin, but by the time the bear had finished its beach renovation, all those little morsels likely added up to a decent meal.

As the tide began to rise again, the bear picked up its pace and moved on to the next stop on its agenda. Perhaps some sweet thimbleberries were calling from the forest’s edge over on the next bay.

Black bear crossing intertidal area

About Laurie MacBride, Eye on Environment

Photographer focused on nature and nautical on the BC coast

4 responses »

  1. Fred Bailey says:


    Great shots as usual, glad to see a post…long overdue. Fred

  2. kimmanleyort says:

    Laurie, I’ve been enjoying your posts for many years now. Thank you for sharing your world.

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