Hold your breath and hope for the best for this Arctic hare as these wolves pursue him at high speed. This is survival of the fittest in the purest sense. Another interesting fact about Arctic Hares, that I used to teach travelers to Churchill working as a guide for Natural Habitat Adventures, is that their black – tipped ears are a distraction and target for raptor predators. The birds focus on the spots and attempt to grab the hare by those dark natural targets instead of the neck or fleshy body. Since they are moving and thinner, they are hard to grab on to. These creatures are quite adapted to the Arctic environment!
This massive ice berg off the coast of Ferryland, Newfoundland has been the talk of Canada and other world news stations. What a natural way to enjoy the day..gazing at icebergs floating by.
Iceberg chasers flocked to the coast of this town with a population of only 465 to gaze out at “Iceberg Alley” as this area of the Atlantic is known. This daunting iceberg is 15 stories high above waterline. However this only accounts for 10 per cent of its mass with the other 90 per cent below the surface.
“Most folks can’t wrap their heads around how big it is,” Barry Rogers, the owner of Iceberg Quest Ocean Tours, a Newfoundland tour operator, said in an interview on Thursday.
Over 600 icebergs have drifted into the North Atlantic shipping lanes so far this April, which is widely known as the beginning of iceberg season. The normal count for this time of year is around 80. And, while this parade of sorts is great for watchers the fishing industry in St. Johns for one is being held hostage. The entrance to the harbor is blocked by the dangerous behemoths and the fishermen are waiting for the winds and currents to clear a safe channel.
Icebergs of this size have been 15,000 years in the making. Snow on Greenland turned eventually to glaciers which broke free within the last few years and slowly floated out of Baffin Bay. Eventually the bergs are caught in the Labrador current heading south and end up in Iceberg Alley.
With only a couple of weeks left in the operation of the ice road on the McKenzie River, there’s still some action happening. Randy Henderson narrates this phenomenal reindeer crossing. This is the final year of the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk roadway over ice. Normally the road closes down for the season right around April 28th though this year it will close for good.
Starting at the beginning of 2017-18 the seasonal ice road, one of many in the north, will be replaced by an overland highway suitable for all seasons. The project has been in the planning stages for decades but with the rapid growth and opening up of the Arctic the time is here for construction. Let’s hope the new road will not carry tolls.
Some of North America’s largest caribou herd – females only- are heading north toward Nunavik. The females head out of Quebec’s boreal forest a few weeks ahead of males to get settled in and have their calves. Averaging 20 km per day, the caribou will used their scoop – shaped hooves to dig for lichen deep beneath the snow to keep energy for the trek. Once they arrive in the north they will feast on a plethora of grasses and plants.
This amazing footage was captured by Wild Canadian Year film crew lead by filmmaker Justin McGuire. The crew flew by helicopter into the barren tundra region and placed a 360 degree camera ahead of the herd and hoped for the best.
“You find yourself in another world. It’s a landscape of quietness and caribou tracks – a vast expanse of compacted snow formed by thousands of moving animals.” stated McGuire . “We watched hopefully. After all our efforts, it would still take a bit of luck to get a our shot. And then – success! The migrating caribou passed right by the 360-camera, seemingly inquisitive of this foreign arrival in their land.”
The never – before – seen footage is truly unique and intimate!
Check out this cool video footage from a flyover above Grise Fiord and some spectacular ice formations. Enjoy the weekend!
Churchill is widely known as the premier location to see the King of the Arctic, aka polar bear! Natural Habitat guide Justin Gibson has spent many seasons in Churchill guiding avid travelers on the tundra to get a glimpse of these magnificent creatures. This Churchill webinar goes over all the crucial info needed to see the threatened polar bear species on the shores of the Hudson Bay. Enjoy.