This time of year, hanging bird feeders attract a wide range of colorful birds, and at least a few optimistic squirrels out to steal the birds\u2019 lunch. But, according to the state\u2019s environmental agency, those feeders also ring the dinner bell for bears. Black bears are attracted to \u201cgarbage, pet food, compost piles, fruit trees, and bird feeders around houses,\u201d the state\u2019s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) wrote in a press release last week. DEEP\u2019s release said that residents should not fill bird feeders from late March through November. If residents want to have a bird feeder up, the release said, then it should hang at least 10 feet above the ground and six feet away from any tree trunks. Sue Gillis, a Ridgebury resident, said she had a black bear wander through her yard over Memorial Day weekend. \u201cHe was so sweet just ambling through our yard,\u201d Gillis told The Press. \u201cGlad that I looked out and didn\u2019t just follow routine and take the dog out!\u201d DEEP also recommends storing garbage cans inside a garage or shed to keep bears out. \u201cAdd ammonia to trash to make it unpalatable,\u201d the agency said. Grills should also be stored away after use, as well as pet food. Meat, or anything sweet, should be kept out of any compost piles. \u201cBears that become accustomed to finding food near your home may become \u2018problem\u2019 bears,\u201d DEEP said.