Summer in Churchill is really an undiscovered time of year. When the ice finally breaks up in the Churchill River and flows north into the Hudson Bay, the summer is officially here. However, leading up to that season there are ample opportunities to explore the thawing land and see rare and magnificent wildlife. Migrating birds are descending on the area and wildflowers are starting to emerge from the tundra.
In June beluga whales migrate from the north and into the western Hudson Bay to inhabit the Churchill River and other estuaries in the area. Whale watching excursions can bring you close enough to touch a beluga from the side of a zodiac. Insects are prevalent and birds feed on them and schools of capelin pushed to the surface by beluga whales in the Churchill River. Life is prolific on the water and over the land in Churchill this time of year.
Kayaking and snorkeling with the beluga whales is also an incredible way to get closer to their level and be a part of their world. Visibility in the Churchill River and Hudson Bay is much clearer near the mouth of the river where silt from the banks and river bottom churned up further south has been dispersed. The water is colder, especially for snorkeling. However, with the right dry-suit and accessories, an amazing experience is ready for you!
Birders “flock” to Churchill in Spring and throughout the summer to check off their “life lists” of birds. With over 200 birds passing through the region one can see a plethora of species in just one visit. Some quite rare birds such as the Ross’s gull and this recently spotted common crane below have been highlights in recent years.
Hiking along the coast over the Precambrian shield and through the boreal forest out to the boggy tundra allows travelers to see the incredible web of life that survives the frigid winters and thrives for a very short summer Arctic season.
Come close enough to touch hundreds of beluga whales from zodiacs or kayaks on the Churchill River or Hudson Bay. Snorkel with the whales in their own environment. Search the prolific tundra for caribou, Arctic fox, and polar bears all in an incredible Churchill Arctic summer!