Polar Bear Season Reflections

polar Bear Churchill

A Polar bear wandering the coast of Churchill. Colby Brokvist photo.


Cross fox Churchill

A cross fox loping along the tundra in search of prey. Colby Brokvist photo.


polar bear in Churchill

A curious polar bear up on a polar rover in Churchill. Colby Brokvist photo.


Inukshuk in Churchill aurora borealis

High above the tundra with the aurora blazing above. Colby Brokvist photo.


Arctic hare in Churchill

An Arctic hare making good use of its camouflage. Colby Brokvist photo.


Polar bears in Churchill

Polar bears awaiting the ice forming on the Hudson Bay. Colby Brokvist photo.

Polar bear season is winding down however the wildlife sightings are even better than ever. These fantastic shots from Natural Habitat Adventures guide Colby Brokvist are an indication that we still have some treasures left in this 2017 season!

We had a scare last week when the Hudson Bay was on the brink of freeze – up but then the south winds prevailed, allowing for the ice to be pushed north for the time being and thus keeping some energetic polar bears around for a bit longer. What a season it has been with so many fox sightings and even a wolverine.

Polar bears have been up to their usual sparring displays lately as well as numerous sow and cubs interacting on the tundra. With only a week or so left for travelers venturing to Churchill to see the King of the Arctic, we have fingers crossed that the weather will allow for polar bears to linger in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area!

Polar Bear Season from Churchill

The 2017 exciting polar bear season is moving along with some of the most incredible wildlife in recent years being seen daily. While the fox population, all varieties, is burgeoning, there have been some rare sightings of large caribou herds and even a wolverine…although we are still in search of a photo of this one. These images from Colby Brokvist are from his recent guided trip of Natural Habitat travelers on a photo tour. Some pretty cool and first – time happenings out in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area!
Gyrfalcon churchill

White Gyrfalcon perched on a rock in Churchill. Colby Brokvist photo.


Polar bear on polar rover Churchill

Polar bear cub investigates the polar rover. Colby Brokvist photo.

This polar bear cub in the image above entertained Natural Habitat Adventures Guide Colby Brokvist’s group of travelers by climbing on and around their polar rover for over 20 minutes. The playful adolescent rolled in the snow and posed for photos while the group was in awe of the animal.
The group also enjoyed sightings of Arctic, silver and red foxes, a snowy owl and a white phase Gyrfalcon.
Cross fox churchill

A beautiful silver fox prances along the tundra in search of a meal. Colby Brokvist photo.

Aurora borealis was also visible at night for this lucky group of travelers. While the cold weather is allowing for ice forming on the Hudson Bay it is not unusual for panic to set in for thoses who want to see the polar bears.
polar bear in Churchill

Polar bear resting on a kelp day bed. Colby Brokvist photo.


polar bear Churchill, Manitoba

Shaking off the winter cold. Colby Brokvist photo.


Polar rover and group Great White Bear in Churchill

A happy group of Nat Hab travelers after a memorable trip to Churchill. Colby Brokvist photo.

Dueling Foxes in Churchill Snow

This pair of Arctic foxes were caught rumbling around in the willows atop the snow covered tundra by Natural Habitat Adventures guide Colby Brokvist with his group travelers. Churchill endured an early winter blizzard this past week and the land has a nice white blanket for animals to hide in. These foxes are somewhat hard to make out as they playfully spar and spring away from each other. Another unexpected Churchill wildlife treasure we have not seen in a long time. Polar bears are also amassing in good numbers for this time of year and with the snow we should see some sparring action like that of the foxes soon. Enjoy!

Churchill Photos of the Week

Polar bear season in Churchill is officially underway as groups of travelers with Natural Habitat Adventures are returning from the Tundra Lodge out deep in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area (CWMA). We should be getting some detailed field reports in from that groups guides Eric Rock and Colby Brokvist over the weekend. Other groups are arriving in Churchill as well and soon the news will come fast and furious. Polar bears will start to move with more urgency as the season gets going and the snow comes along with cooling air from the north. Stay tuned for posts from the sub -Arctic!

Polar bears Churchill, Manitoba

Polar bears at play in Churchill. Rhonda Reid photo.

Churchill, Manitoba polar bear

Majestic polar bear on a chilly, frosty morning in Churchill. Colby Brokvist photo.

Polar bear in Churchill

Poalr bear afraid to look at all the polar rovers. Justin Gibson photo.

polar bear churchill

Polar bear stretching after a nap in the willows. Natural Habitat Adventures photo.

Churchill Guide Notes – Colby Brokvist

Natural Habitat Adventures guide Colby Brokvist has experienced quite the polar bear season so far in Churchill! One of his initial groups of travelers witnessed unbelievable sparring sessions on a sunny day close to the Tundra Lodge. The scene became even more intense when the three sparring male polar bears were interrupted by a smaller three year – old female approaching from first tower to the east. One of the males pushed her off into the willows where she laid down for a rest. After the sparring had cooled off she returned and checked out all the polar rovers in the area and gave thrills to all travelers aboard!

Polar bear churchill

Sparring polar bears in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area. Colby Brokvist photo.

Another sparring session that same afternoon matched two huge male polar bears going at it for about 25 minutes. ” I’d thought they would be overheating by now!” Colby expressed to his travelers. Amazing how polar bears can expend so much energy in a time when they are trying to conserve in a big way. It just shows how important this ritual of mock fighting is to the species survival. This year has been filled with outrageous displays..more so then years past.

Polar bears in Churchill.

Polar bears wrestling in the willows. Natural habitat photo.

With a more recent group Colby and driver navigated the rover out to the Tundra Lodge after spotting a sow and her cub close to launch. The morning seemed “quiet” reported Colby so they decided to move inland a bit toward an esker to the east. Just below the esker back toward the Hudson Bay the group sighted another sow and her coy (cub of the year) on the flats with amazing views toward the bay and surrounding lowlands. What a way to spend the late morning..beats an office coffee break by far!

polar bear sow and cub churchill, Manitoba

Sow and cub test the land fast ice of the Hudson Bay. Colby Brokvist photo.

Around lunch, camped in the same spot, patience paid off big time. An adolescent polar bear wandered up to the rover and investigated the rear deck of their polar rover. if one got any closer to a polar bear there would be teeth marks at best. The steel grated deck provides the needed protection here. Nearby a number of sleeping bears worked on conserving the energy spent in morning sparring sessions in the squared tundra.

Later on at Halfway Point the day concluded with a superb 15 minutes observing a rough – legged hawk hunt along the tundra. Not much more of a nature experience then that. All in all an incredible trip in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area!

Churchill, Manitoba wolverine

wolverine in a spruce tree in Churchill. Colby Brokvist photo.

One of the most exciting aspects of a trip to Churchill is a helicopter flight over the north land. This rare shot of a wolverine was captured by Colby as they flew over the boreal forest. Amazing! And for good measure a polar bear chugging through some land fast ice in the Hudson Bay!

polar bear in the Hudson Bay Churchill, Manitoba

Polar bear making his way through the slush ice of Hudson Bay. Colby Brokvist photo.

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