This is one of our bears that probably won’t destroy any bird feeders. It’s a Banded Woolly Bear, also called a Woolly Worm and Fuzzy Worm. These caterpillars are the just-hatched larva of the Isabella Tiger Moth (Pyrrharcticia Isabella).


According to unsubstantiated folklore, Woolies predict the weather (especially winter weather) by the number and size of their reddish-brown segments – more red means milder. By the way, the origin of the word “caterpillar” apparently is the Old French word “chatepelose,” literally “hairy cat.” But, English children thought that the lumbering insects looked more like little elongated bears. (Brooklin, Maine)