Summer and Fall
Every year after the ice breaks up on Hudson Bay, thousands of beluga whales migrate to the warmer waters of the Churchill River estuary to feed on large schools of capelin and to give birth. Unlike most whales, the beluga lacks a dorsal fin, making it easier for them to swim under Arctic ice sheets.
In the summer, these small whales migrate up and down the river each day as the tide changes from low to high. They travel in large groups called pods. When winter approaches they migrate north into the open bay.
From the new boat and underwater cams you can see all the white whales and gray calves live and up close, Monday through Friday. Viewing times depend on weather and tides.
Life Span: 35-50 years
Length: 5 meters (15 feet)
Weight: 600 kg (1,500 lbs),
(Females are smaller)
Habitat: Arctic and Subarctic water (freshwater and sea water)
Characteristics: toothed whales, one of smallest whales, large rounded foreheads adapted for sonar
Name Beluga: comes from a Russian word meaning ‘white’. In fact, only the adult whales are white in colour. The calves are born a dark grey or brown.
The Churchill River estuary is one of the summering grounds for the largest population of beluga whales in the Arctic. The total world population of belugas is estimated to be between 62,000 and 88,000.