Polar bear season has finally arrived and the season will kick off tomorrow with the initial group of Natural Habitat Adventures travelers arriving in Churchill and heading out to the Tundra Lodge. The lodge is a train – like grouping of rover style cars connected together to form an incredibly comfortable space to view majestic polar bears and other Arctic wildlife in a serene setting on the open tundra of the Churchill Wildlife Management Area. (CWMA) Nighttime provides a dark environment for viewing northern lights off the open balcony decks.
The remote Natural Habitat Tundra Lodge in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area. Natural Habitat Adventures photo.
Although Churchill has not experienced snow yet this season, it has not deterred polar bears from roaming the tundra and boreal forest. The polar bear below was photographed out by the Aurora Domes just yesterday by Churchill resident Claude Daudet. What a beautiful, clean polar bear to initiate the 2016 season. As you can see, a typical animal this time of year is thinner and awaiting the ice to form on the Hudson Bay. This juvenile seems to be in pretty good shape as he awaits the freeze-over that will allow the seal hunting season will commence.
Beautiful shaggy, white polar bear near the Aurora Domes yesterday. Claude Daudet photo.
After one of the most spectacular northern lights season’s last January and March, Churchill was blessed with one of the best Churchill Arctic summer season’s in recent history as well. We have not had reports of beluga whales lingering in the Churchill River or Hudson Bay like last year though there might be a few stragglers braving the late season.
Northern lights over Churchill. Brad Josephs photo.
Some of the nights in polar bear season offer the right conditions for viewing northern lights. There can be many overcast nights since the Hudson Bay remains usually ice – free through October and into November. Moisture rises and creates the cloud cover though occasionally a breeze will clear the skies for some epic aurora moments…especially mid November when temperatures are falling. We are looking forward to some amazing nights that produce some more other-worldly images above the Hudson Bay!
Polar bears sparring in the Churchill wildlife management Area. Natural Habitat adventures photo.
Stay posted for all the news from Churchill, the polar bear capital of the world! Whether it be sparring polar bears, an exciting bear lift from just outside town or the thrill of eyeing a polar bear just an arm’s length away on a polar rover, churchillpolarbears.org will provide daily updates and photos throughout the season. Pass the blog site link along to a friend so they can share in all the action!