ATLANTA — A bear was captured on home surveillance video getting a late-night snack from a backyard birdfeeder in Buckhead – and neighbors told 11Alive’s Cheryl Preheim he’s been a common visitor for quite some time.

In the video, the bear is seeing wandering around the yard before going for a seed container near the home’s doorway. After sniffing it for a while, he rolled it around and stuck his head inside of it to get whatever he could find inside. 

Buckhead bear
A bear was captured on home surveillance nosing around a bird feeder and container in Atlanta's Buckhead neighborhood.

Franklin Smith, the homeowner, said the bear did manage to get some food out of the bin but wasn’t able to get his nose far enough down to get all of it. 

Buckhead bear

The bear also snacked on the standing bird feeder posted up in the backyard.

Bear spotted in Buckhead
A bear was spotted roaming through Buckhead and neighbors said its been roaming around for at least a year.

“This is our neighborhood bear. This is probably his sixth visit to our backyard,” Smith said. “We have enjoyed watching him grow up. We have not enjoyed trying to take our bird feeders in every night.”

The Smith family lives in Buckhead, about three-quarters of a mile from Houston’s restaurant on Northside Parkway. So they're right in the middle of everything.

“The can is actually fine. We still use it, but now the can and the bird feeders are coming in at night,” Smith added. The bird feeder shown in the video is about 30 inches tall, to give some perspective on the bear's size.


Apparently, the bear has stolen quite a few bird feeders and has been spotted by several other families in Buckhead.

Smith said there is a lot of preserved forest in the area and that the bear helps himself to a “buffet” of bird feeders around the neighborhood. The first time the “Buckhead Bear” was spotted by neighbors was around this time in 2018 and they said he gets bigger every year.

Anyone who spots a bear in their neighborhood is encouraged to call animal control and remove any food and trash from the area or get a specialized lock that prevents animals from gaining access.