The Tundra Lodge continues to provide marvelous polar bear action these days as we approach the heart of polar bear season in Churchill. This fantastic image was taken by Camp Manager Jason Luoma. Quite the perspective on polar bear watching for sure.
Polar bear sleeping just outside the Tundra Lodge. Jason Luoma photo.
Mexican polar bear standoff with a polar rover in Churchill. Jason Luoma photo.
Polar bear mom protecting her cub from the dangers on the tundra in Churchill. Jason Luoma photo.
Polar bear resting in the scrub willows near the Tundra Lodge. Jason Luoma photo.
Natural Habitat Adventures and Great White Bear Tours operate one of the most incredible wildlife viewing spots on Earth. Tundra Lodge camp Manager Jason Luoma, who by the way, manages Natural Habitat’s Greenland Base Camp as well, took these photos over the past few years. The first pic, sleeping bear, is from this week. The view from the lodge is so serene and breathtaking that polar bears become just part of the landscape…especially when they are sleeping. Photographers and wildlife enthusiasts come to this place for unimaginable chances to capture polar bears and other Arctic wildlife in action. And, most times expectations are exceeded beyond belief!
Polar bear mom and cubs on the tundra. Jason Luoma photo.
Polar bear taking a look into the polar rover. Kry Walczak photo.
Two sparring male polar bears near the tundra lodge in Churchill Wildlife Management Area. Jason Luoma photo.
With snow already covering the tundra in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area, polar bears have become more active and are up and about sparring and moving along the coastal region near the Tundra Lodge. Numbers of bears being spotted by Natural Habitat Adventures groups are close to 15 or more.
Here are two Natural Habitat Adventure guide reports from the past week in Churchill:
“Wildlife is OFF THE CHARTS. A true banner week for this early in the season. We had three diverse weather days and incredible wildlife sightings, including: eight polar bears with close encounters, Arctic fox, red fox (silver morph),gyrfalcon, harbor seal, snow bunting, snowy owl, semi-palmated plovers, semi-palmated sandpipers, glaucous gulls, herring gulls, willow ptarmigan, common raven and common eider!!”
For decades Great White Bear Tours has been Natural Habitat’s partner in logistics and providing travelers with access to the most heavily polar bear populated region in North America. The Churchill Wildlife Management Area is where all the incredible polar bear action takes place and Great White Bear Tundra Lodge has been home to lucky Nat Hab travelers for years now during October and November. These photos from GWB wonderfully capture the polar bear season that just finished up in Churchill. Enjoy!
Great White Bear polar rover in Churchill. Konan Wendt photo.
Pensive polar bear in the Churchill willows. GWB photo.
Red fox staring out at the water in Churchill. GWB photo.
Polar bears sparring in the CWMA. Henry Zhang photo.
Snowy owl above the Churchill tundra. Don Walkoski photo.
Polar bear under the Tundra Lodge. Moira Le Patourel photo.
This is the time when the polar bear season is a double-edged sword in that the polar bear numbers are building and so is the ice that could allow them to disperse overnight. However, this time is also one to rejoice in with the uncanny wildlife around the tundra.
Nt Hab’s Brad Joseph’s group had some incredible wildlife sightings during their trip. A first-year male great gray owl at Gordon point was a memorable sighting. Out around the Tundra Lodge, there were eight polar bears paired off and sparring in optimal 0-degree weather. This is the first report this season of numerous bears around the lodge actively engaged in mock fights. Pretty exciting and a reunion of sorts for the travelers on rovers and at the lodge!
After enjoying a sunset across the Churchill River at the flats just northwest of town, the group also was blessed with aurora borealis on their second night in Churchill. Nearly as spectacular to this particular group of travelers was the fantastic newly painted murals around town by the Sea Walls project. The murals brighten up the town, which can start to become grey this time of year, as much in the daytime as northern lights do at night.
Two other pretty awesome sights for this group were seeing a good size caribou herd of around a 100 animals south of Churchill. Tracks covered the ground all over the area. Some of those tracks were discovered to be from a Wolverine making a cameo appearance. Some longtime locals reported having not seen one for 20 years or more.
Polar bear males sparring on the tundra. Moira Le Patourel photo.
Moira Le Patourel’s group enjoyed good weather for the duration of their trip with a snowy backdrop and a mix of a few overcast days and a few with incredible sun and one extreme cold weather day (-21 degrees Celsius) Numerous polar bear sightings surely made up for the cold, including a mother with two cubs of the year, a mother with one cub of the year, as well as many adult males.