This bear visited a Chesterville home over the weekend and made itself at home. It got in to two bird feeders on the porch and left mud prints on a window. Submitted photo

CHESTERVILLE — Donna and Eddie Vining had a surprise, unwanted visitor over the weekend.

By phone Sunday morning Donna said, “The dog started barking, the porch lights came on about 12 a.m. last night.”

A large bear was on their porch where he got in to a bird feed container. He was there for a while, she said.

“He’d lay down, eat, get up, go onto the lawn, then come back,” Donna said. “We have a feeder that sticks to the window. He took that off. We have his mud prints on the window.”

Daughter Tammy Vining Wilbur posted a picture of the bear on her Facebook page.

It’s a pretty amazing picture but too close to home, she wrote later in an email.

An April 6 post on the Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Facebook page notes, “When natural foods are scarce, especially in the spring or dry summers, black bears will venture into backyards in search of easily accessible food such as bird feeders, garbage, grills, and pet foods.

“Take steps now to prevent conflicts on your property this spring. Learn more at”

The post recommends removing food sources, including those mentioned above, to discourage close encounters with bears.

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