That's when he saw the culprit, a young male black bear, who'd had an excellent snack, washed down with the sugar water in the adjacent hummingbird feeder, disappearing back down the ravine.
I didn't manage to get my camera in time, but we did have a good laugh about his not noticing that a bear was at the bird feeder basically just a stone's throw from the windows!
In the mountains of North Carolina, black bear populations are high enough that young bears (usually males) sometimes wander into urban areas. We're close to downtown Asheville here in the mountains, so it seems pretty amazing to see a bear this close.
|A young bear two summers ago at our feeder|