After a productive morning with ample bear sightings, we stopped by the bay for a quick picnic lunch.
Outside, the temperature was -17°C .
and we didn’t have to go far to see more bears…
Probably attracted by the scent of our food, they were more aggressive this time.
Did you know that polar bears have powerful sense of smell? They can smell a seal’s breathing hole up to 40 mile away.
For a close encounter, this bear came up to our vehicle and smelt our feet.
Notice the small ears and short tail – they serve to minimize cold exposure and help the bears survive extreme temperature.
After a while they moved away and I was happy to keep our disturbance to a minimum.
On our way back, we spotted a flock of ptarmigans.
These color-changing Arctic birds have feathers on their legs and feet to keep warm.
The sun set shortly after 3 o’clock.
Lords of the Arctic: The Ecology of Hudson Bay’s Polar Bears
Instructor: Rupert Pilkington
Witness the annual migration of Churchill’s polar bears. Every October and November, polar bears congregate in the Churchill area to await the return of the sea ice and access to their preferred prey – the ringed seal. Spend two full days touring the Churchill Wildlife Management Area aboard a custom-built tundra vehicle. On the first day, course participants will enjoy an excellent firsthand view of polar bears in their natural habitat. On the second day, you will assist one of our visiting researchers with behavioural observations of the bears, collecting data as part of a long-term study contributing to our knowledge of these magnificent animals. Each evening, in-depth presentations by bear biologists explore this remarkable animal and the challenges they are facing in a warming climate. And if that were not enough, this program also includes a 45 minute helitour along the rugged coastline of Hudson Bay, an afternoon of dog sledding and a tour of the community, including the world-famous Eskimo Museum and its renowned collection of historic and contemporary Inuit art and artefacts. This is our most popular program and all proceeds support scientific research in Churchill. Book early, this program is known to sell out fast!
Note: Please respect the wildlife and DO NOT stick your hands (as pictured below) out of the vehicle to attract bears . This careless act coud likely end a bear’s life.