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The Brown Bear

The Brown Bear
Photo Information
Copyright: Serge BREARD (BREARD) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 106 W: 1 N: 419] (2141)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Black & White
Date Taken: 2011-07-22
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Nikon D800, 70-200mm f/2.8 VR
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Parc Animalier de Cerza [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2011-10-30 23:01
Viewed: 4467
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note [French]
The brown bear (Ursus arctos) is a species of bear that can reach masses of 130 to 700 kg.
The grizzly bear, kodiak bear and brown bear are Mexican subspecies of North American brown bears.
This species, which is the subject of local protection or reintroduction programs, particularly in France, was completely exterminated in Lebanon.


Brown bears have fur in shades of blond, brown, black, or a combination of these colors. Brown bears have a large hump of muscle over their shoulders which gives strength to the forelimbs for digging. Their head is large and round with a concave facial profile. Standing, the bear reaches a height of 1.5 to 3.5 meters. Despite their size, they can run at speeds up to 56 km / h. For walking, the brown bear is digitigrade forelimbs and hind limbs plantigrade. That is to say he first raised the "fingers" and then the heel of his front legs and it raises the whole plant of its hind legs together.

Often two males fight for a female or ownership of a territory. However, if the winner is assured of being able fertilize sees the bear, the partner did not and it will only raise the cubs.

With three pairs of teats, placed on the chest and abdomen, the female provides milk for a nutritious, high-fat, protein and vitamins. The maternal instinct developed shoot the bear to protect her young from predators such as cougars and wolves, but also males who would not hesitate to kill in order to win their mother - equally observable behavior among lions and some hunting dogs.


Once native to Asia, Europe and North America, brown bears are now extinct in some areas such as the Lebanese regions and have seen their numbers greatly reduced in others. They prefer semi-open, usually in mountainous areas.

In North America, the brown bear is distributed from eastern Alaska to the Northwest territories, and further south is located in British Columbia and the western half of Alberta. Isolated populations exist in northwestern Washington, northern Idaho, western Montana and northwestern Wyoming. The subspecies Ursus arctos horribilis (grizzly) is the common brown bear of continental North America, the subspecies Ursus arctos Middendorff (Kodiak bears), the largest of all bear species with polar bears live in Alaska in the Kodiak Islands, Afognak and Shuyak. The subspecies Ursus arctos nelsoni lived in northern Mexico.

The habitat of brown bears of the Old Continent coincides with the remnants of the forests of prehistory, whether northern or mountain. Russia and Scandinavia are now home with the Balkans and the Carpathians their main populations. The European brown bear survive more poorly in the Pyrenees [ref. needed]. There remain a dozen in the central Pyrenees and less than five in the western Pyrenees. It is so threatened, so fierce that it becomes invisible to his most ardent admirers.


The total population of brown bears is estimated at about 200,000 worldwide. The largest populations live in Russia, with 120,000 bears, the United States with 32,500 bears and Canada with 21,750 bears. In Europe there are about 14,000, divided into 10 distinct populations. There are small isolated brown bear populations in several countries in Europe, from Spain to Bulgaria. In Italy, between 1999 and 2002, seven females and three males captured in Slovenia were released in Trentino where three remaining native bears. The brown bear was a symbol of the power of kings in the Middle Ages, but Her Majesty the bear was less respected by man.

A reduction since Roman times, the brown bear was still present around the year one thousand in all French mountain forests but the settlements were reduced in the sixteenth century to the most inaccessible of the Vosges, Jura, Massif Central, the Alps and the Pyrenees. At the end of the eighteenth century, the development of human activities such as pastoralism, forest use or use of firearms and accentuated his disappearance in the middle of the nineteenth century their presence was no longer observed in fourteen departments of Jura , the Alps and the Pyrenees. He disappeared first from the Jura and the Alps in 1860 (estimated 300 bears in 1800, 70 in 1860, 20 in 1900, the last observation in 1937 in the Vercors) to remain only in the Pyrenees when its population reached nearly the extinction in the late twentieth century.1. The Bears scored the oral traditions and many excavations have preserved the memory of his presence ("Cave Bear" in the department of Jura at Chaux-des-Crotenay, Foncine-le-Bas, Rosay ...) 2

In 1995, France had a relict brown bear population of five individuals in the western Pyrenees. Without the capture and release in Slovenia in 1996 two females and one male in 1997 as part of the reintroduction program in central Pyrenees, the brown bear was sentenced to a certain death. But in 1997 and 2004, two bears foals, Melba of Slovenian origin and Cinnamon the last bear of the Pyrenees strain, were shot by hunters during the beating. The reintroduction has allowed people to make up fifteen individuals in 2005 but can not be considered sustainable in the long term, too few females and problems of inbreeding. It turned out that the two females mated reintroduced to their homeland with the male also reintroduced. This led the French government to implement a plan to build a new intake of 4 females and one male in spring 2006.

Lifestyle and diet

The brown bear is mainly nocturnal except in North America, and was accumulated up to 180 to 200 kg of fat reserves in which he draws to keep the winter, during which time it becomes very lethargic. Although it is not true hibernators and can be awakened easily, he likes to hide in protected areas such as a cave or a crevice during the winter months.

Being omnivorous, it feeds from plants, including berries, roots and shoots, mushrooms and especially fish, insects and small mammals. Brown bears are largely vegetarian, taking up to 75% of its calories from plant materials. Note that the bear eats a huge number of moths (moths) in the summer, sometimes up to 40 000 per day, and can withdraw up to one third of these calories mites3.

Normally solitary bears congregate near streams and rivers during the spawning salmon. Every two years the females give birth to 1-4 young which weigh only 500 grams at birth.

Miss_Piggy, maaciejka, cirano, pegos, Silvio2006, jurek1951, Alex99, Jakkals, jlinaresp, marius-secan has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Serge
Very good compozition and details,and nice bluwed background.
Best regards

Hallo Serge
A very close point of view and striking portrait of this Ursus arctos. A black and white medium gives a total different view than a coloured one, and in this instance it is quite impressive. Thanks for sharing and thanks also for lengthy and most interesting information. Best regards.

Hi Serge,
good idea to take it in black and white. It gives a specific atmosphere. Excellent timing. Great composition.
Thanks for sharing,

  • Great 
  • cirano Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 997 W: 0 N: 944] (13609)
  • [2011-10-31 1:20]

Great portrait.TFS...

  • Great 
  • ddg Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 867 W: 24 N: 1008] (5507)
  • [2011-10-31 2:09]

Bonjour Serge, bonne idée d'avoir choisi de traiter cette photo en N et B, il en ressort un aspect différent avec un poil de l'animal beaucoup plus rugueux et aussi plus en harmonie avec le BG. Bravo et bonne journée, Didier.

  • Great 
  • pegos Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 222 W: 0 N: 356] (1982)
  • [2011-10-31 2:42]

Hello Serge,
splendid image of this beauty in a great pose!
Excellent sharpness and light. Great POV. Well done!
Thanks for sharing

Ciao Serge, great portrait of superbcreature, original choice to post in B&W, excellent sharpness and fine details, very well done my friend, ciao Silvio

Hi Serge,
this is a very nice portrait from the Brown Bear . Very beautiful bear! Great sharpness, details and very good POV. Very good DOF and composition.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2011-10-31 8:45]

Hi Serge.
It is clear ISO 2800 is not the best for shooting but sometime it allows to get very impressive pictures. This one is the same shot. I think every photographer would be happy to repeat it at least at once. Nice touching portrait which reflects the state of mood of this solid person. TFS and best wishes.
P.S. I am impressed with your gallery and many thanks for kind words to my last post.

Hello Serge,
For a "Black and White" this could not have been captured any better!! Absolutely clear details! Fantastic notes.
I live in a "Lightning belt" And this time of the year thunder storms are more often than wanted, so communication could be a problem for me.

hello Serge
berynice picture of this (Black)beer
great details and nice composition
thanks greeting lou

Ciao Serge. The BW...good choise MF! Indeed a great efficent portait.


  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2011-10-31 12:00]

Hello Serge.
The bear's face expression makes me to keep looking at the picture. The non-distracting background helps a lot too.Best regards Siggi

Hello Serge,
Great work here, this is a impressive portrait for this great animal; I like a lot the B&W result!... Well done!

Impressive animal and impressive BW photo Serge! The composition is excellent.

Hello Serge,
Exceptional clarity and impressive focus with very nice details and great sharpness.
I love the excellent composition with great POV.
Brilliant ideea to show this image in black and white.
Perfect shoot as usual.

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