What Bears Eat What Mushrooms?

by | Jan 15, 2023 | Mushrooms | 0 comments

  • Chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius): Black Bear, Grizzly Bear, Brown Bear
  • Honey Fungus (Armillaria mellea): Black Bear, Grizzly Bear, Brown Bear
  • Morel (Morchella spp.): Black Bears and Grizzly Bears
  • Boletes (Boletaceae family): Black Bears and Grizzlies
  • Hedgehog Mushrooms (Hydnum repandum): American black bear and grizzly bear
  • Puffballs: All species of bears may eat puffballs when available in their environment
  • Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus): Black Bears and Grizzlies
  • Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus): American black bear and grizzly bear
  • Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor): American black bear and grizzly bear
  • Lobster Mushrooms (Hypomyces lactifluorum): Black Bears and Grizzlies
  • Black Truffle (tuber melanosporum): Black Bear, Grizzlies, Asiatic Black Bear
  • Summer Truffle (tuber aestivum): Black Bear, Grizzleis, Asiatic Black Bear

For many species of bears, mushrooms are an important part of their diet. In North America, black bears and grizzly bears both forage for mushrooms in the wild. Black bears favor the white chanterelle, red-capped scaber stalk, and the honey mushroom. Grizzly bears are known to feast upon the bear’s head, a large, yellow mushroom with a stem resembling a bear’s head and a cap resembling a bear’s face. In Europe, brown bears are known to eat the chanterelle, parasol mushroom, and the false morel. In Asia, Asian black bears feed off the honey fungus, and the giant panda enjoys the bovine hoof mushroom. All species of bears have a fondness for mushrooms, but they definitely have their favorite types.

American black bears are one of the most common species of bears that can be found eating mushrooms. These bears forage for mushrooms during the late summer and fall months when the mushrooms start to fruit. They typically eat the fruiting bodies of the mushrooms, but may also consume some of the mycelium. Some of the most commonly eaten mushrooms by American black bears include chanterelles, boletes, russulas.

Brown bears, also known as grizzly bears, may also feed on mushrooms. These bears are often found foraging in damp areas such as meadows, marshes, and dense forests. Brown bears have been documented eating both the fruiting bodies and mycelium of a variety of mushrooms including boletes, chanterelles, russulas.

Polar bears are more carnivorous than other species of bears, but they may still feed on mushrooms. Polar bears are not typically found in areas with mushrooms, but they have been observed eating them when available. The mushrooms they consume are often found in wet tundra environments and may include species such as russulas, chanterelles.


White truffle (Tuber magnatum), bianchetto truffle (Tuber borchii), winter truffle (Tuber brumale), black truffle (Tuber mesentericum), uncinatum truffle (Tuber uncinatum), and red truffle (Tuber rufum) are all types of truffles, which are edible mushrooms that grow underground and have a strong, pungent aroma.

Bears, including black bears, grizzly bears, brown bears, and spectacled bears have been known to eat truffles and other types of underground mushrooms, as they have a strong sense of smell and taste which allows them to locate and dig up underground mushrooms. However, there is limited information available on which specific species of bears eat which specific species of truffles.

Never try feeding wild bears and certainly don’t feed mushrooms to bears. bears should not be fed wild mushrooms, as consuming the wrong type of mushroom can lead to serious illness or death.Not all species of mushrooms are safe to eat, and bears have an ability to distinguish between poisonous and non-poisonous mushrooms. However, it is not safe to feed bears wild mushrooms as consuming the wrong type can lead to serious illness or death.

Bears are omnivores and mushrooms are just one of the many kinds of foods that they eat. Their diet is mostly based on berries, fruits, insects, fish and small mammals.