Polar Bear Alley
This is a collection of northern stories - polar bear, arctic
and otherwise from Churchill, Manitoba, Canada - the polar
bear capital of the world.
POLAR BEAR ALLEY
Churchill Travel Guide
Hotels in Churchill, Manitoba
Travel to Churchill, Manitoba
Churchill, Manitoba Links
Polar Bear Alley Expeditions
Polar Bears of Churchill Book
Polar Bears of Churchill Facts
Weather in Churchill, Manitoba
Tide Table for Churchill
Churchill Aurora Forecast
Polar Bear Photo Gallery
Beluga Whale Photo Gallery
Polar Bear News
Polar Bear Attack Page
you like the Polar Bear Blog, check out my first book, Polar Bears
of Churchill. It combines eight years of guiding experience in
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Churchill on Hudson Bay is a mix of Churchill history and stories
from the trapline. Written by longtime Churchill residents, Angus
and Bernice MacIver, it is the best resource about Churchill,
Manitoba available. Published by the Churchill Ladies Club. Available
Polar Bear Blog
Hudson Bay Quest 2007
February 15-March 19, 2007
January 14-February 15, 2007
December 1-10, 2006
November 20-30, 2006
November 5-20, 2006
October 27-Nov5, 2006
October 19-26, 2006
October 9-18, 2006
October 1-October 9, 2006
Sept 24-October 1, 2006
Sept 15-23, 2006
Sept 1-8, 2006
August 20-31, 2006
August 8-17, 2006
August 1-8, 2006
July 25-31, 2006
July 18-24, 2006
July 12-17, 2006
Bear Blog- July 17, 2006 (6:45pm)
two blogs in one day - that is a lot of excitement for my cabin.
Actually, this looks like the start of a lot of excitment for
Churchill this summer - I may have to retract my 'air conditioning
for polar bears' rant.
got an email from Nature First Tours (a local tour company) and
their tour today saw fourteen polar bears! Fourteen polar bears
on July 17th!!! Crrr-azy!!!
also hear there are five bears at the Canadian Eskimo Dog Foundation
Headquarters - also called Ladoon's (more about that later). And
I am assuming a few more at L5 (I should just make a Churchill
it looks like there were a few bears on that big patch of ice...and
now there are a few less bears on that ice. Maybe I will head
out for a drive tonite and see what's up for myself.
Bear Blog - July 17, 2006
return of northeast winds has also brought Churchill's last icefloe
into sight. The last remaining ice has long since packed up along
the southern coast of Hudson Bay and there is really just one
little hunting platform along this side of the bay, likely with
a few bears hanging on.
there are still some bears on the ice, many have come ashore.
Usually how this whole thing works is that bears with higher energy
demands and/or less fat tend to come ashore first. This includes
pregnant females, mothers with young cubs or subadult (3-5 year
females swim ashore as the ice floats south from Churchill to
York Factory. One of the largest denning areas is close to Churchill,
lying about 30 kilometres south. Females are pretty site specific,
as in they like to hang out in familiar territory and even den
quite close to where they were first born.
they swim ashore up to two weeks before the last polar bears come
off the ice. And, of course, these are the big fat boars, lumbering
around at 700-800 kilograms plus right now. They stay on the ice
to the bitter end, swimming ashore, somewhere east of York Factory
this year. With no particular place to go, they simply hang out
on beach ridges and slowly walk north along the coast until some
of them end up at Cape Churchill in November.
ice map of southern Hudson Bay (from York Factory east)
Bear Blog - July 16, 2006
little bit of crazy weather this weekend - a northeast wind brought
some big thunderstorms and a lot of mist and kind of changed summer
along the way.
week at this time, we were high and dry, many of the tundra ponds
(classified as puddles in other parts of the world; lakes up here)
were drying up quickly. Duck ponds had transformed into wading
pools for various sandpipers such as Yellowlegs and Short-billed
nights of rain has taken care of that. With the ground frozen
year round up here, draingage does not really occur and the water
table is always just under the soil. Over night, many ponds filled
back up and ducks and ducklings, geese and goslings seemed to
come out of the woodwork.
our first nice day (today), there were huge family groups of Long-tailed
Ducks and Canada Geese swimming on our lake, much to the chagrin
of the highly-territorial Pacific Loons. All of this action resulted
in loons calling all night, an eerie cry, haunting the dusk and
warning their newly discovered neighbours to stay away.
Bear Blog - July 15, 2006
bears and more bears. Yes, they are definitely back. Two were
spotted at the Canadian Eskimo Dog Foundation headquarters (I'll
explain that another day...) and others have been seen sleeping
on the coast or handing out around...you guessed it, L5 our recycling
far, a couple subadults ('teenage' polar bears between three and
five years old) and a mother with one cub have explored L5 and
the strange smells it emits.
no word on what solution or assistance the government has in mind
for Churchill's garbage (other than making local businesses pick
up the tab as usually happens) so we will wait and see.
Bear Blog - July 14, 2006
tour with Nature First today. Guiding is so fun - even though
it is alternating pouring rain and ominous fog and no polar bear
in their right mind would be walking around in this weather.
ended up right at the end of the Twin Lakes kame today. It is
a one and half hour river and a long and bumpy ride over an old
military road to nowhere but worth it.
as everyone in the van is starting to wonder what the *&#%
they have gotten themselves into, and you are scratching the paint
down a road overgrown with willows, poplar and tamarack, the trees
open and a beautiful view of the barrens emerges.
kame is simply a big pile of glacial till or pretty much gravel
that dropped out of our last glacier retreating in the last ice
age (about 8500 years ago or so). Luckily, this is a pile of gravel
that stands just high enough to give a visually stunning view
of the last gasps of the treeline and the beginning of a few millions
miles of tundra to the north.
Bear Blog - July 12, 2006
this is a sign of things to come. While it is not the first
bear to arrive at L5 (Churchill recycling centre) this year,
it is the first to start living there. A polar bear showed up
yesterday and has been fairly elusive since then - hiding in
the surrounding trees when Conservation Officers arrived to
'escort' him off the premises and returning to sniff out the
building when the coast is clear. We should find out if he camps
out, heads to town or finds his way in, pretty soon...
recycling centre got off to a big start this winter with town
employees completing a lot of the work ahead of schedule and
under budget due to our mild winter. However, garbage has been
sitting in L5 for eight months now because the other levels
of government, both municipal, provincial and federal cannot
seem to come up with a solution to sending out this garbage.
I don't know but I think they may have thought they could make
money by selling recycling... I am not sure but I think recycling
is the ONLY thing that the government does not subsidize. Anyway,
I remember there being a plan before the project started but
I am not sure what happened to it.
course, this is pretty standard operating procedure for Churchill.
Things start off well and then the government drops the ball
and the proverbial such and such hits the fan.
maybe L5 will be different. Our acting town foreman did a pretty
good job of getting it up and running this winter and it looks
to be a world class operation (in terms of garbage anyway).
Of course, the last time I talked to him, he was slightly frustrated
with progress (or lack thereof) at 'higher levels' and I don't
right now, we have stinky garbage, bears coming ashore and rumors
that we may be charged if we want to recycle. Interesting times...