Churchill Arctic Summer – A View from the Field

Incredible wildlife sightings and bursting wildflowers have made this an awesome Churchill Arctic Summer so far! Moira LaPatourel has been guiding Natural Habitat travelers in the Churchill region and the surprises keep coming for the groups both on the water and out on the tundra.

This magnificent common loon and chick was spotted on a thermokarst pond out by the Churchill Wildlife Management Area. These majestic and haunting birds will often circle their water surroundings and give their haunting call to announce the arrival of their offspring. Always an incredible experience to see these in the sub – Arctic.

common loon in Churchill

Common loon and her chick on the water in Churchill. Moira LaPatourel photo.

With the Cape Merry battery looming in the distance, a beluga sow and calf  frolic in the Churchill River. Whale interaction has been off the charts this season with pods of belugas all over the waters surrounding Churchill. Snorkeling and kayaking have been particular highlights for groups as well this season.

beluga whales in Churchill

Beluga whales in the Churchill River with Cape Merry in the background. Moira LaPatourel photo.

A rarely seen bald eagle made an appearance and perched atop this krumholz spruce on the open tundra. A perfect spot for eyeing lemmings scurrying across the ground.

bald eagle in churchill, Manitoba

A bald eagle perched on a spruce tree in the open tundra of Churchill. Moira LaPatourel photo.

A group of travelers gets more of a birds – eye view from the deck of the Sea North I on the Hudson Bay. This vessel provides more of a view above the beluga whales for slightly better photo opportunities. Venturing over to Button Bay or further into the Hudson Bay is another facet this larger jet propulsion craft provides.

beluga whales in the Churchill river

Viewing beluga whales in the Churchill River from the Sea North I vessel. Moira LaPatourel photo.

Natural Habitat travelers enjoy the versatility of a zodiac excursion on the Churchill River. The small craft often can cruise the coastline and discover a gem like this resting polar bear on the Precambrian shield! Seeing polar bears in Churchill Arctic summer is such an awesome experience and often more of a thrill than seeing the king of the Arctic in polar bear season!

polar bear viewing from zodiac in Churchill, Manitoba

Travelers view a polar bear from a zodiac in the Churchill River. Moira LaPatourel photo.

Fireweed has consumed the landscape at this point of the season. The purple injects a swath of color to the landscape that blends the blues of the water and rocks with the subdued earth colors of the tundra.

wildflowers in Churchill

Fields of wildflowers across the tundra in Churchill. Moira LaPatourel photo.

Fireweed Polar Bears

Dennis Fast from Churchill captured these magnificent colorful polar bear shots in glowing fireweed. The unique photos were published by CBC News to highlight the way polar bears playfully interact with their surrounding environment. We view them most of the year in snowy settings, however with sea ice melting earlier in the Spring, polar bears are arriving on the coastal lowlands earlier and more often throughout the Arctic summer months.


Fireweed polar bear Dennis Fast.jpgreweed polar bear 3 Dennis fast

Fireweed polar bear Dennis Fast


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