Here’s some really cool footage from the Churchill Northern Studies Center and today’s Snowy Owl release into the wild. Churchill’s snowy owl population seems to fluctuate from year to year so seeing this one getting back into the wild is awesome. It’s always uplifting to observe an animal being released back into its natural habitat. Enjoy!
This gorgeous snowy owl will be released into the Churchill wild on Wednesday June 21, 2017 near the CNSC, in partnership with The Owl Foundation.
Anyone interested in observing the release is requested to meet at the CNSC at 12:30 PM and take a short drive to the release site.
In late fall, pre – winter, colors of the tundra and the species that roam the land come to a crossroads of earth tones. This pallet gradually transitions into a great white north we all think of when envisioning the forthcoming and exciting polar bear season. This time is short though one of the most beautiful in the Arctic and surrounding regions.
Each year during polar bear season in Churchill either red or Arctic foxes tend to be the more prevalent species for that particular season. In recent years there has been an influx of red foxes that have seemingly displaced the gorgeous, white coated Arctic fox population to some extent. Hunting, legal and illegal, has also played a role in lowering the Arctic fox numbers. Warming temperatures facilitate the red fox species to become more adaptive to the northern weather and even ice conditions in winter. The patchwork colors of the red fox in particular meld with the myriad of tundra color splashes.
While snow is imminent in the Churchill region, polar bears will take this time to conserve energy by limiting movement as much as possible. Sleeping bears will soon be wandering restlessly as the snow falls and temperatures drop to freezing or lower by month’s end. Polar bears gazing toward the Hudson Bay in anticipation of a freeze over will become the norm as November marches on.
The tundra will release the last fruits of its bounty to the scouring animals looking to nurture their bodies with berries, plants or lemmings before the winter hits hard. Changing appearances in foxes, hares and birds foretell the new season that will become a energetic forum of multiple species before the freeze leads to mass exodus lead especially by the king of the Arctic, the mighty polar bear.
This early season shot of a snowy owl in Churchill by local photographer and birder Rhonda Reid bodes well for the possibility of high numbers this polar bear season starting in October. Keep checking back for updates and awesome images like this one from the northern tundra.