As we begin to wind down, winter has finally arrived on the shores of Hudson Bay, bringing snow drifts and frigid temperatures. After two fierce storms with howling winds that rattled our roving broadcast studio, clouds gave way to cold, sunny skies. With the cold has come an increase in bear activity, including daily sparring between adult male bears and moms exploring the tundra with cubs in tow.
As temperatures continue to drop, bands of shorefast ice mixed with young nilas ice have formed along the coast of Hudson Bay—allowing polar bears who have been largely fasting onshore since July and August to return to hunting seals. In a sign that the ice is expected to stick and will continue growing, Churchill’s Polar Bear Alert team emptied their polar bear holding facility on Thursday, releasing bears directly onto the newly formed ice.