Nature | White Falcon, White Wolf
Watch Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 8pm on WMHT TV.
Extending above the Arctic Circle in the far north of Canada, Ellesmere Island is one of largest untouched wildernesses on the planet. Here, the animals have only three short months to raise offspring and prepare for the winter. To succeed, their timing must be just right. White Falcon, White Wolf follows two families, a breeding pair of gyrfalcons and a pack of Arctic wolves. As nine months of snow and ice melt away, flowers bloom, young are born, and the struggle begins.
Gyrfalcons are the world’s largest and most powerful falcons. Yet even for them, the pressure is on. Last summer this pair’s two chicks died of starvation. Will the conditions be right this summer? Will their best efforts be enough to keep this year’s chicks healthy? Filmed in HD from a ledge adjacent to the nesting site,White Falcon, White Wolf provides an intimate portrait of this magnificent species.
Meanwhile, the pack of Arctic wolves wait with great anticipation for a sign that new pups have been born to their breeding female, who has spent a great deal of time in her den. When the pups arrive, the young wolf daughter will need to grow up. For now, however, she tends to let her curiosity get the best of her. Musk ox, snowy owls, Arctic hares and Arctic foxes round out the cast, as they too try to make the most of the precious Arctic summer.
On Canada’s Ellesmere Island, the race is on to raise families. Last summer, a nesting gyrfalcon pair failed to raise any young. The rare Arctic wolves rely on every member of the pack to chase and bring down the prey that keep them alive. For the wolves and the falcons, as well for the snowy owls, lemmings, foxes and hares who share this fragile ecosystem, the future is never certain.