Black Bear, Cinnamon Phase

Black bear (Ursus americanus), cinnamon phase

On previous posts, I have shown images of a black bear cub (Ursus americanus) climbing a tree and a Spirit, or Kermode, bear (Ursus americanus kermodei), which is a rare subspecies of black bears who are born white because of a recessive gene present in the blood of both parents, but are not albino because their nose and eyes are black.

The image on this post shows a cinnamon black bear (Ursus americanus cinnamomum): sometimes these black bears are mistaken for brown or grizzly bears because of the color of their coat. Although there is no clarity as to what makes the fur of certain black bears take on this cinnamon brown color, evidence suggests that black bear coat colors vary as a mechanism of camouflage or because of climate and habitat.

So, while in the forested states east of the Great Plains, almost all black bears are black-furred, in western states that have mountain meadows and open forests, more than half of the black bears are brown or cinnamon. This is because lighter colored fur reduces heat stress in open sunlight and also helps bears camouflage from predators in open areas.

Sources: North American Bear Center; The American Bear Association; Ursus International

If you would like to see more images of mine, feel free to browse my Galleries.

As per my copyright notice, please respect my work and do not download, reproduce or use the image above without first seeking my consent. Thank you :-)


26 thoughts on “Black Bear, Cinnamon Phase

      1. mmmarzipan

        I like all your images, it seems! You are so talented! And I truly have NO idea how you manage to get up close with all this amazing fauna and capture animals in action at just the right moment! That takes incredible skill.

      2. Stefano Post author

        Thank you very much once again for your very kind words, MM! 🙂
        One of the key elements of wildlife photography is certainly patience: things happen when they happen, and sometimes they just do not happen at all, and a photographer needs to accepts it. This collection of images is but a selection of exciting moments taken out of a long time spent in the field tracking wildlife and hoping that it would do something exciting at the right time, in the right light, in the right spot relative to where you are set up, when you have not run out of space on your memory card, etc…. 😉
        But a good shot is in my view ample reward for the time and effort invested into making that image and learning about your subject.
        Thanks again for you kind comment 🙂

  1. Dina

    It’s always a delight seeing your wildlife photos, dear Stefano. What a capture, with the perfect light and the expression on his face! Makes him look almost harmless and cuddly like a Steifbear.
    I hope you all have an enjoyable weekend. Lots of love and a big hug across the pond!

    1. Stefano Post author

      Thank you, Lyle: as you know too well given the time you spend in the field creating your beautiful images, the habitat of these guys may be challenging from a lighting perspective, especially on clear days, so yes, this was a lucky break with the light on its face! 🙂 Thank you for your kind comment.

  2. ChgoJohn

    This is one fantastic shot, Stefano, as are the rest in the black bear gallery. I didn’t realize that there was a cinnamon bear west of the Mississippi. Mother Nature is a wonderful caretaker.

    1. Stefano Post author

      Thank you, Oliver! Yes, it was pretty big, especially for a black bear. The one thing you don’t want to do is startle them, that’s for certain! 😉

  3. laurasmess

    What an incredible post Stefano. Bears are such magestic creatures, you captured it perfectly. Thanks for the rundown on the cinnamon black bear also, I wasn’t aware of the difference. We don’t have bears here in Australia (except in zoos!) so it’s an unknown world to me 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s