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Polar bears dance to the shades of the Northern Lights- Churchill, Hudson Bay, Canada
by Suba Subramanium

Wanna see Polar bears at arm’s distance, wanna see thousands of beluga whales as they move over warm waters, wanna see hundreds of different spices of birds as they fly across the skies, wanna see the Northern Lights in the night – animal lovers, bird watchers, head straight to Churchill, Canada.

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Churchill is a town on the shores of Hudson Bay in Manitoba, Canada. It is situated at the estuary of the Churchill River at Hudson Bay, at the juncture of three eco-regions - the boreal forest to the south, the Arctic tundra to the northwest, and the Hudson Bay to the north, could one ask for more?Churchill is not called the “Polar bear capital of the World” for nothing. Droves and droves of Polar bears move towards the shore from inland in the autumn. If you love these huge lovable creatures make sure you are there in autumn.

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In late fall these magnificent creatures draw a viewing audience from around the globe. Animal lovers venture out daily in specially constructed tundra buggies to watch the great ice bears entertain as they interact on the shores of Hudson Bay. October and early November are the most feasible times to have your fill of these magnificent creatures……..the majority of the bear activity happens during these months when the bears move back from the tundra to seal-hunting territory and during the summer periods, the bears frequent the city for their walking hibernation stage. Great, isn’t it?Polar bears are not the only attraction for animal lovers – thousands of beluga whales move into the clear warmer waters of the Churchill River estuary during July and August to calf, a major summer attraction. Are you a bird-watcher and not an animal lover? Fear not, you too can have your fill in Churchill. Birders have recorded more than 270 species within a 40 km. radius of Churchill. Countless geese, cranes and 200 other species of birds pass along the coast of Hudson's Bay and through the town on their way to their nesting sites in the Arctic. Even the rare and beautiful Ross gull, which originates from Siberia, has been nesting here.

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The stunning Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights can be seen in late August and from December to late April in the night skies over Churchill, simply mind- blowing.Let us not forget the Fort Prince of Wales near Churchill, which is accessible only by boat or the Eskimo Museum or the Cape Merry National Historic Site. On the Cape Merry coast on the eastern side of the river mouth, 3 km from the town of Churchill, stand heaps of giant gray blocks of quartzite, which were smoothed and rounded by retreating glaciers. On the soft tundra grass between the rocks grows a magnificent plethora of plants, including willow, dwarf cranberries, bear-berries and crowberries – a treat to the discerning visitor.An account of Churchill would not be complete without the mention of the fact that aboriginals lived in the Churchill region at least as long ago as 1700 BC. Image visiting a place with such history!
 
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