Churchill is a town in Manitoba, Canada, located on the western shore of the Hudson Bay, about 70 miles from the Manitoba – Nunavut border. Travel to this remote “birder’s paradise” is only available by air and train. The terrain of this area varies from prairies and forests to the sub-arctic tundra. If you are lucky, you might be able to see the Northern Lights. The town of Churchill is one of the three best places to catch them.
Nature photographers are ready to see over 250 bird species that nest or travel through the town. Yet, the most popular animals to photograph in the area are polar bears and beluga whales. Polar bears are so plentiful that it is illegal for cars to be locked in the downtown area, just in case you need a place to escape! Nature photographers must have their cameras ready at all times since these birds and wildlife can show up at any moment.
Birders and nature photographers head to Churchill, and its surrounding areas, to see popular species of birds, such as Hairy Woodpeckers, Willow Ptarmigans, and Arctic Terns. The sub-arctic climate provides a good environment for falcons, hawks, Tundra Swans, and Snowy Owls. Other rare species that can be spotted in Churchill are Ross’s Gulls and Harlequin Ducks. These birds can be found near the Churchill River. The best time to see these species is the second week of June through the second week of July. In a week trip, you can expect to see around 100 bird species with little effort. Birders must be ready to wake up early since the birds are up at sunrise, which can be as early as 4:30 am in July.
Owen visited Churchill in June 2004.