Polar bears are gathering near and within the small town of Churchill in Manitoba, Canada, awaiting the seasonal Hudson Bay freeze-up so they can venture onto the ice and prey on seals.
The bears have long been a draw for scientists and tourists but this season a live web-cam feed enables wildlife enthusiasts from around the world to witness the phenomenon (the feed is posted below). The camera is funded by a $50,000 grant from the Annenberg Foundation and displayed on the explore.org website.
There are between 600-800 polar bears in the Western Hudson Bay region. Freeze-up typically occurs about the third week of November but last year it didn't occur until mid-December, which is bad for the bears because they're unable to hunt from shore.
A late freeze-up is expected again this year, meaning prolonged mingling in Churchill. Enjoy the web-cam and click on the above links or read this AP story to learn more about the bears and the project. Viewing is best between early morning and early afternoon, Alaska time.