The time in which black bears settle down for hibernation depends on which region of North America they’re in.
In the west, food isn’t very plentiful in the fall, so these bears will start their hibernation process in September or October. In the east where there’s more food available, these bears won’t need to start hibernating until November or December.
Regardless of region, these bears go through a process called hyperphagia. This is when they consume a lot of food to help fatten themselves up before they hunker down for the winter. Bears can eat between 5,000 and 8,000 calories a day during this time!
When they’re ready to settle down in their dens, it’s time to slow everything down – from their metabolic rate to their heart rate.
This article goes over more of this phase in bears’ lives. Read now!