7 Bear Colors: What Colors Can Bears Be? (With Pictures)

The most common colors of bears are black, brown, and white. What many people do not know is that bears can also come in a myriad of color variation.

While it is true that each bear species may have a distinct fur color, bears can actually grow hair similar to humans. Some bears are even arguably blue in color. Among all bears, the most diverse in coloration is the American Black Bear.

Bear Colors

What Colors Can Bears Be?

1. Black

When people talk about a black bear, they often refer to the American black bear. However, this bear is not always black. It changes its color in phases. Some of them can be brown or even blond.

The American black bear, or Ursus americanus, is not all that huge. It is considered a medium-sized bear that is endemic to North America. What it means is that it is common in the US and in Canada.

These bears often cross human habitats. They leave the forest to look for food and find themselves encroaching human territory. There is only one species of the American black bear.

As a black bear, its entire body is black. Occasionally, there are some white markings on its chest and the markings would make a letter “V”. 

2. Blue Black

The blue black is the glacier bear. Some people call it blue bear. It is endemic to Alaska, and some of them can sometimes be silver-blue or gray.

There is little known about this bear and its coloration. Although they are part of the black bear family, there are those who oppose or disagree with this taxonomy. There really is no evidence showing that they are black bears, except their fur colors are similar to the American black ear.

3. Dark Brown and Brown

The American black bear can be a brown one. However, when people say “brown bear,” they mostly refer to the grizzly bear.

The Grizzly bear is also referred to as the North American brown bear. It is a subspecies of a largerfamily, the brown bear.

The other common species of brown bear is the Ussuri brown bear of Russia. It also has a presence in Japan, China, and Korea.

An omnivore, the brown bear is huge at 800 pounds. Some grizzlies are not dark brown, but rather light tan. Some of them may even be so light that they look almost white.

4. Cinnamon

The cinnamon bear is a morph of the American black bear. Its color is a beautiful brown, but unlike the grzzly bear.

Like other American black bears, it is omnivorous, and it eats fruit, honey, vegetation, and insects. These bears are excellent climbers and runners. They can also swim.

Some cinnamon bears can morph into black. However, what makes them really distinct is the rich, deep brown color that gave them the name “cinnamon.”

Baby cinnamon bears can be reddish brown. The common colors of the cinnamon bear are black, cinnamon, and reddish-brown.

5. White Bear

The white bear, of course, is the polar bear, the sister species of the brown bear. It is a hyper-carnivorous bear, which makes it dangerous. It lives in the Arctic Circle, and it hunts actively for seals, walruses, and even narwhals.

The polar bear is the largest of all bears, as it can reach 1,540 pounds. When it stands, it can measure 2.4 meters or 7.8 feet, taller than basketball players.

6. Blonde

The blond bear can be an American black bear or a grizzly. It is not exactly blonde as in golden, like human hair. Rather, it is a very light brown that looks almost white.

Its feet have darker color, which is a spectrum of dirty white to dark brown. The blonde bear should not be mistaken for the spirit bear, a rare bear coloration.

As an American bear or grizzly, the blonde bear is an omnivore. Sometimes, the blonde bear can have run-ins with humans.

The blonde bear is not a different species. It is only a matter of genetics. Some black and brown bears have recessive genes, so the offspring do not inherit the do main color of the bear family.

Because of the gene variation, a bear may have white coloration, which can, in turn, lighten its dominant color. It is why there is a blond bear, gray bear, off-white, etc.

7. Black and White

The black and white bear is the giant panda. For many years, people argued whether or not it is a real bear. Scientificfindings based on molecular studies indicate that the giant panda is a true bear.

The giant panda is a national treasure of China. Its coat is distinct, and one can easily recognize it. Pandas live in temperate forests, and they eat bamboo. Their diet is almost entirely bamboo, and they must eat about 84 pounds of it every day.

Pandas are huge; females can reach 200 pounds while males can reach 300 pounds. Despite their size, giant pandas are excellent tree climbers.

There are conservation efforts to help pandas regain their population. Recently, the panda’s status changed from endangered to vulnerable thanks to the efforts of panda conservationists.

What is the rarest bear color?

The rarest bare color is what people refer to as the Spirit Bear. Some people also call these bears Kermode. Most of them are in Gribell Island in British Columbia, Canada.

What makes them striking is that they have a white coat caused by a recessive gene. There are only a few of them, and they live in small pocketsof population.

Some people mistake the spirit bear for an albino, but it is not actually an albino. The spirit bear is the rarest phase of coloration of bears, and it only occurs in black bears. 


Many bears go through a color-changing process, especially the black bear. While most people think it is black, the black bear actually becomes brown, black, blonde, and even chocolate. Bears come in many colors, the most prominent of which are black, brown, and white. Some bears are albinos. The rarest bear color is the spirit bear, which is essentially a white bear. The thing is that this spirit bear is actually a black bear, so one would expect it to be black.

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