•Black bears have a range of vocalizations.
•When frightened they blow and make huffing sounds, throaty sounds such as clucking sounds with their tongue and teeth - accompanied by threatening body language.
•Such harmless 'bluster' is a sign of apprehension on the part of the bear.
•Females communicate with their cubs with grunts and clucking sounds when they are concerned about their cubs or want them to come down from trees.
•Cubs bawl loudly when distressed, even scream in terror. Some say that children and babies sound like cubs.
•Similar to a cat's purring, cubs make this pleasure sound when nursing or when they are especially comfortable. Adults make this same sound, just with a deeper voice.
•They also may moan when frightened, such as when they have escaped up a tree in the wake of a nearby dominant bear.
•Their most intense sounds are heard in the mating encounter.
•A bereft mother bear makes crying sounds.
•There is still much to be learned about the variety of bear vocalizations and their meaning.
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Dr. Ellen K. Rudolph, Photojournalist and Educator
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