Canada – Saskatchewan Spring Birding Grand Tour: June 3-21, 2024

Canada Saskatchewan 19-day Birding Tour

Canada Saskatchewan Birding Tour

Canada Saskatchewan Spring Birding Tour
June 3 – 21, 2024

Guiding Fee
USD $4890 per person
CAD $6730 per person
UK £3900 per person

Join our Spring Birding Tour to Saskatchewan, Canada during the peak of the nesting season when bird song abounds. Saskatchewan is located near the centre of North America where several bird migration flyways meet. Consequently, this bird-rich province of Canada is home to nesting birds from both eastern and western North America.

Migration Flyways meet in Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan is well known as the duck factory of North America because most species of waterfowl nest in our abundant wetlands.  Many shorebirds, pelicans, rails and grebes also nest in our lakes and sloughs. We will visit many hotspots for water birds including Last Mountain Lake and Redberry Lake Bird Sanctuaries plus Chaplin and Reed Lakes Important Bird Areas.

Stretching across half of the province, the boreal forest is home to many eastern warblers, woodpeckers, flycatchers and forest hawks. We will explore these forest birds at Saskatchewan’s Duck Mountain Provincial Park and in the Nisbet Forest.

Burrowing Owl
Burrowing Owl by Nick Saunders

The great expanses of arid prairie grasslands attract many special ground-nesting birds. We will observe unique prairie birds at Grasslands National Park, Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Old Man on His Back Plateau as well as Saskatchewan’s Great Sand Hills and many other pastures.

Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park Trails

We will observe many sub-alpine birds in the east, centre and west blocks of the Cypress Hills. We will also explore riparian habitats along the South Saskatchewan River valley and the Souris River valley.

If you don’t have time for the full Canada Saskatchewan Birding Tour, ask us about joining us for parts of this fantastic tour.

Special Birds of Interest

During this Canada – Saskatchewan Birding Tour, we expect to observe over 170 species.

A few special birds include

  • Ruddy Duck
  • Sharp-tailed Grouse
  • Gray Partridge
  • Western Grebe
  • Clark’s Grebe
  • American White Pelican
  • Great Egret
  • White-faced Ibis
  • Golden Eagle
  • Broad-winged Hawk
  • Swainson’s Hawk
  • Ferruginous Hawk
  • Prairie Falcon
  • Black-necked Stilit
  • American Avocet
  • Willet
  • Marbled Godwit
  • Long-billed Curlew
  • Upland Sandpiper
  • Wilson’s Phalarope
  • Franklin’s Gull
  • California Gull
  • Forster’s Tern
  • Black-billed Cuckoo
  • Burrowing Owl
  • Red-naped Sapsucker
  • Western Wood-Pewee
  • Eastern Wood-Pewee
  • Alder Flycatcher
  • Western Flycatcher
  • Dusky Flycatcher
  • Say’s Phoebe
  • Great Crested Flycatcher
  • Western Kingbird
  • Loggerhead Shrike
  • Blue-headed Vireo
  • Yellow-throated Vireo
  • Black-billed Magpie
  • Violet-Green Swallow
  • Mountain Bluebird
  • Eastern Bluebird
  • Sprague’s Pipit
  • Connecticut Warbler
  • MacGillivray’s Warbler
  • Yellow-breasted Chat
  • Western Tanager
  • Spotted Towhee
  • Lark Sparrow
  • Baird’s Sparrow
  • Brewer’s Sparrow
  • Le Conte’s Sparrow
  • Nelson’s Sparrow
  • Chestnut-collared Longspur
  • Thick-billed Longspur
  • Lazuli Bunting
  • Western Meadowlark
  • Yellow-headed Blackbird
  • Bobolink
  • Orchard Oriole

CLICK HERE for a complete Saskatchewan checklist.

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Grasslands National Park

Day 1 – Mon. June 3, 2024: Saskatoon

Plan to arrive in Saskatoon, Canada today.

Saskatoon International Airport (YXE) is served by these airlines: Air Canada, Westjet, Flair, Porter and their numerous partners including United and Delta.

4:00 PM – 5:30 PM We have scheduled a short visit to the weir on the South Saskatchewan River to look for American White Pelicans.

Overnight: ParkTown Hotel, Saskatoon
Supper on your own. Many restaurants in downtown Saskatoon.

Pelican at weir bird walk
American White Pelican
by Nick Saunders

Day 2 Tue. June 4, 2024: Porter and Quill Lakes

8:15 AM Check out of hotel after breakfast.
8:30 AM  We then drive east making stops at Porter and Quill Lakes to search for any late migrant arctic-nesting shorebirds.

Lunch on the road.
Grab food for tomorrow’s breakfast (in case resort is not yet open)
Supper at Kamsack restaurant
Optional late evening outing to listen for owls

Overnight: Duck Mountain Park cabins for first of 2 nights.


Willet by May Haga

Day 3 Wed. June 5, 2024: Duck Mountain Park

Early Breakfast on your own
8 AM We spend the day driving park roads and hiking short nature trails along the lake shore and in the forest.

Some of the special birds we expect to see or hear include Broad-winged Hawk, Barred Owl, Black-backed Woodpecker, Great Crested Flycatcher, Blue-headed Vireo, Winter Wren,  Nashville Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Canada Warbler, Evening Grosbeak plus many other species of warblers, flycatchers, raptors and lake birds

Bring a picnic lunch for the road
Overnight Duck Mountain Park cabin
Supper at Duck Mountain Resort restaurant

Optional late evening owling

Overnight at Duck Mountain cabin for second of 2 nights.

Black-backed Woodpecker
Black-backed Woodpecker by May Haga

Day 4 Thu. June 6, 2024: Duck Mountain Park – Saskatoon

After Breakfast, morning birding along roads and trails in Duck Mountain Park.

After lunch, we drive back to Saskatoon making new birding stops near Quill Lakes.

Supper on your own. Many restaurants in downtown Saskatoon.

Overnight ParkTown Hotel Saskatoon for first of 3 nights.

Connecticut Warbler
Connecticut Warbler by Nick Saunders

Day 5 Fri. June 7, 2024: Redberry Lake Bird Sanctuary

After Breakfast at hotel, we will take a series of back roads through grassland, woodland and pond habitat where we can stop and listen for prairie birds which might include Ring-necked Duck, Swainson’s Hawk, Western Kingbird, Loggerhead Shrike,  Mountain Bluebird, Pied-billed Grebe, Western Meadowlark, Sprague’s Pipit, Vesper Sparrow and Wilson’s Phalarope.

At Redberry Lake Bird Sanctuary, we often find American White Pelicans, White-winged Scoters, Common Terns, Red-necked Grebes. The endangered Piping Plover may nest here when shoreline habitat is suitable.

Later, we will drive around the lake stopping at various points watching for numerous species of ducks, grebes, marsh birds and shorebirds. Our water bird list should include Horned and Eared Grebes,  Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Canvasback, Redhead, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead and Ruddy Duck.  Black Terns, Ring-billed and Franklin’s Gulls are normally found flying over the lakes. Breeding shorebirds should include American Avocet, Willet, Killdeer, Wilson’s Snipe and Spotted Sandpiper. Rare Black-necked Stilts are sometimes seen.

Overnight ParkTown Hotel Saskatoon for second of 3 nights.

We will make a stop to marvel at Saskatchewan’s largest tree.

In marsh habitat near Redberry Lake Bird Sanctuary, we may find Marsh Wrens, Common Yellowthroats, Red-winged and Yellow-headed Blackbirds. We will watch the shrubs for Clay-colored and Song Sparrows plus Brown Thrashers and Gray Catbirds.

Red-necked Grebes
Red-necked Grebes by May Haga

Day 6 Sat. June 8, 2024: Last Mountain Lake Bird Sanctuary

7:00 AM Breakfast in hotel.
8:15 AM. We depart hotel and make a stop to look for one of Saskatoon’s nesting Peregrine Falcons.
9:00 AM We drive southeast of Saskatoon making birding stops along the way.
11:00 AM Visit Last Mountain Lake Regional Park part of the bird sanctuary
Bring your Lunch to eat in the park picnic area.
1:00 PM Visit the main access roads through the Last Mountain Lake Bird Sanctuary
4:00 PM Return drive to Saskatoon
6:00 PM Arrive at hotel
Supper on your own in hotel

On the recommendation of Edgar Dewdney, Lieutenant-Governor of the North-West Territories, this Last Mountain Lake Bird Sanctuary was set aside in 1887 by the government of Sir John A MacDonald (Canada’s first prime minister) for the protection of wildfowl, the first such reserve on the North American continent. It was established as a federal migratory bird sanctuary four years after Parliament passed the Migratory Birds Convention Act of 1917.

Internationally recognized, Last Mountain Lake wildlife area is a migration stopover point in spring and fall for hundreds of thousands of waterfowl, cranes and countless smaller birds, and a summer nesting area for over 100 species, including several rare species.

Overnight ParkTown Hotel Saskatoon for third of 3 nights.

Western Grebe
Western Grebe by May Haga

Day 7 Sun. June 9, 2024 Saskatoon – Great Sand Hills

8:45 am Check out of hotel after breakfast.

Some of our planned birding stops include the following sites.

  • Pack your own Lunch to eat at Kindersley Regional Park – wetland birds and songbirds
  • South Saskatchewan River Valley downstream of Leader – Yellow-breasted Chat and Long-billed Curlew
  • 4 pm Check in to hotel in Leader. Campers may wish to stay in town campground.
  • Late Afternoon and Evening Visit to the Great Sandhills – Lark Sparrow, Western Kingbird, Common Nighthawk plus possible Long-billed Curlew, Prairie Falcon, Loggerhead Shrike
  • Pack your own Supper to eat at the Sandhills
  • Optional late night drive to listen for Common Poorwill,
  • Overnight at a Leader hotel.
Long-billed Curlew
Long-billed Curlew by Nick Saunders

Day 8 Mon. June 10, 2024 Leader – Maple Creek

  • Breakfast at Leader cafe
  • Morning birding at South Saskatchewan River near Estuary
  • Pack your lunch to eat on the road.
  • Mason Lake birding
  • Supper at Maple Creek restaurant
  • Evening birding at Junction Reservoir
  • Overnight at a Maple Creek hotel for first of 2 nights.
    Campers may wish to stay in center block or town campground.
Ferruginous Hawk
Ferruginous Hawk by May Haga

Day 9 Tue. June 11, 2024: Cypress Hills Park

7:30 AM Breakfast on your own in a Maple Creek restaurant.

9 AM Tour departs Maple Creek about 9 am.
Today we will hike several easy trails within the centre block of Cypress Hills provincial park.

We plan the following activities.

  • Hike Highlands Nature Trail in morning
  • Eat lunch at park restaurant
  • Hike Valley of the Windfalls Nature Trail
  • Visit to Park Nature Interpretive Centre
  • Hike Whispering Pines Nature Trail
  • Supper in park resort’s dining room
  • Evening drive to scenic Look-out Point and Bald Butte
  • Optional late night drive from 10:30 pm – 11:30 pm to look and listen for Common Poorwill.

Overnight at Maple Creek Motel for second of 2 nights.

Red-naped Sapsucker
Red-naped Sapsucker by May Haga

Day 10 Wed. June 12, 2024 Cypress Hills West Block

We plan to spend the day birding in the best hotspots in the scenic west block of Cypress Hills.
Some sites (*) may be inaccessible if roads are very muddy.

  • Breakfast in Maple Creek on your own
  • Depart Maple Creek at 9 am
  • Birding at Cypress Hills Switchbacks – Dusky Flycatcher, Western Wood Pewee and chance for Black-headed Grosbeak
  • Fort Walsh Historic Park hiking trails – Violet-Green Swallow and possible Say’s Phoebe and Western Tanager
  • Bring your packed lunch to eat in the park.
  • Visit Cordilleran Flycatcher subspecies nesting site *
  • Visit Conglomerate Cliffs in Cypress Hills *
  • Watch birds at Cypress Lake Recreation Site *
  • Supper at Consul restaurant
  • Overnight at a motel in Consul SK.
    Campers may stay at Cypress Lake recreation site.
  • Optional evening drive near Consul.
Violet-Green Swallow
Violet-Green Swallow by Jacob Frank

Day 11 Thu. June 13, 2024: Old Man on His Back Plateau

We plan to drive around the pastures south of Cypress Hills making stops to watch and listen for grassland birds. Some planned stops include:

  • Govenlock area – Thick-billed and Chestnut-collared Longspurs and chance for a Golden Eagle
  • Old Man on His Back Nature Conservancy of Canada grasslands – Bison and chance for a Burrowing Owl or Prairie Falcon
  • Supper at Eastend Restaurant
  • Overnight accommodation at Eastend motel.
    Campers may stay at a town campground.
  • Jones’ Peak Lookout visit in evening – Rock Wren, Mountain Bluebirds and Violet-Green Swallows
  • Optional late evening drive to listen for poorwills and possible Eastern Screech Owl.
Rock Wren
Rock Wren by Nick Saunders

Day 12 Fri. June 14: Pine Cree Park

8 AM Breakfast at Jack’s Cafe in Eastend.

Today we will spend the morning near Eastend and then drive to Grasslands National Park.

  • Eastend Riverbank Park
  • Eastend Reservoir
  • Pine Cree Coulee Regional Park
  • Shaunavon wetlands – American Avocet and Black-necked Stilt
  • Pack a lunch to eat on the road
  • Val Marie Reservoir Bird Sanctuary
  • Check in to overnight accommodation in Val Marie for first of 2 nights
  • Evening visit to Prairie Dog colony to look for Burrowing Owls.

Day 13 Sat. June 15, 2024 Grasslands Park

7:30 AM Breakfast at hotel

We plan to bird in Grasslands Park for much of the day.  Some planned stops include:

  • Val Marie town
  • Top Dogtown trail
  • Frenchman River Valley
  • Larson Interpretive Trail
  • Little Breed Creek Prairie Dog town
  • North Gillespie Road (if dry)
  • Rosefield Ecotour route

Overnight at motel for second of 2 nights

Chestnut-collared Longspur
Chestnut-collared Longspur by Nick Saunders

Day 14 Sun. June 16, 2024 St Victor Petroglyphs

7:30 am Breakfast in hotel

  • We will spend most of the morning in Grasslands National Park.
  • Lunch in Mankota restaurant.
  • Afternoon visit to St. Victor Petroglyphs Historic park
  • Overnight night at Jolly Giant Motel named after the giant Édouard Beaupré, the 5th tallest person to ever live at 8 feet, 3 inches.
  • Campers can stay at Jean Louis Legare Regional Park.

Overnight at Willow Bunch motel

Lazuli Bunting
Lazuli Bunting by Nick Saunders

Day 15 Mon. June 17, 2024 Big Muddy Valley

We plan to spend the day making frequent birding stops in the grasslands of the Big Muddy valley region of SE Saskatchewan.

  • In the morning, we will hike some trails in bird-rich Jean Louis Legare Regional Park named after Jean Legare,  a fur trader and friend of Sitting Bull.
  • Visit Saskatchewan’s spectacular Castle Butte (roads permitting). Rock Wrens are possible at this scenic spot.
  • Big Muddy Grasslands
  • Rafferty Dam
  • Explore Souris Valley watching for rare Chimney Swifts.

Overnight at motel in Estevan for first of 2 nights.

Golden Eagle by Nick Saunders

Day 16 Tue. June 18, 2024 Souris River

We plan to drive along the Souris River valley between Estevan and the US border in SE Saskatchewan watching for grassland and woodland birds. We plan to go birding at

  • Roche Percee
  • Souris River

Overnight in Estevan motel for second of 2 nights.
Campers may stay at a nearby park campground

Eastern Bluebird
Eastern Bluebird

Day 17 Wed. June 19, 2024: Moose Mountain Park

8 am Breakfast at Estevan Restaurant

Today we will hike several easy trails within SE Saskatchewan’s Moose Mountain Park looking for woodland songbirds.

Overnight Saskatoon Inn for first of 2 nights

Ovenbird by May Haga

Day 18 Thu. June 20, 2024: Duck Lake

We will drive about 1 hour north of Saskatoon on highway 11 to reach Duck Lake town.  Here we will drive the roads through the fields south of the town in search of Bobolinks, Western Meadowlarks, Le Conte’s, Nelson’s, Song, Savannah and Clay-colored Sparrows and Sedge Wrens.

Along the margins of Duck Lake, we will watch for American Avocet, Spotted Sandpiper, Willet, Wilson’s Phalarope, Red-winged and Yellow-headed Blackbirds, Common Yellowthroats and listen for Soras. We will use a spotting scope to view ducks and grebes out on the lake. We should find Eared and Pied-billed Grebes, Canada Geese,  Blue-winged and Green-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler and Northern Pintail.

A stop near Duck Lake’s sewage lagoons may yield several diving ducks including Redhead, Canvasback and Lesser Scaup plus American Coot, Eastern Kingbird and Common Grackle and Franklin’s Gulls. Stops at other nearby ponds may yield Red-necked Grebe, Horned Grebe, Marbled Godwit, Ring-necked Ducks and Bufflehead.

Later we will make roadside stops in the Nisbet Forest north of Duck Lake where we will look and listen for Broad-winged Hawk Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Lark Sparrow, Eastern Phoebe, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue-headed Vireo, Veery, Swainson’s and Hermit Thrushes, Ovenbird, American Redstart, Yellow-rumped Warbler and possibly Black-throated Green Warblers. Stops by forest lakes might produce a Common Loon or Trumpeter Swan. We will return to Saskatoon via highway 11.

Later in the afternoon, go birding at Fort Carlton Historic Park.

5:00 PM Return to Saskatoon for supper on your own


Nelson's Sparrow
Nelson’s Sparrow by May Haga

Day 19 Fri. June 21, 2024: Pike Lake

9:00 AM After breakfast, we go birding at Pike Lake park. We will hike the nature trail and bird around the lake looking for woodland songbirds and lake birds.

Tour ends at Noon.

You may then fly home or stay longer to attend Nature Saskatchewan’s 75th anniversary spring meet or to visit Wanueskewin Indigenous Park and other Saskatoon tourist attractions.

Ruffed Grouse
Ruffed Grouse by May Haga
Stan Shadick – Tour Leader

STAN SHADICK:  Guide for Saskatoon Custom Bird Tours

TOUR GUIDE: Your guide has many years of experience finding and observing birds throughout Saskatchewan. For over 30 years, Stan Shadick has been a birding guide for nature tours around Saskatchewan and other parts of the country that have been organized by Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation, Saskatoon Custom Bird Tours, Nature Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan Extension Division.

Stan is past president of Nature Saskatchewan as well as past president and current field trip chairman for the Saskatoon Nature Society. He is a co-editor of the reference publication “Birds of the Saskatoon Area” and contributed significantly to the recently published “Birds of Saskatchewan”.

Stan has volunteered as a regional coordinator for the Saskatchewan Breeding Bird Atlas project and helps with their bird identification workshops. He regularly contributes sightings to e-bird and currently holds the e-bird record for the most bird species seen in Saskatchewan.

Stan volunteers his time leading Saskatoon Custom Bird Tours so that all proceeds benefit the work of Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation.

Tour Fees

Guiding Fee: CAD $6730 per person (about USD $4890; UK £3900) due at time of booking.

Car Rental: You need to rent your own vehicle from the Saskatoon airport. A discount off the guiding fee may be available if you agree to transport the leader from Saskatoon and back at no cost to him in a non-smoking vehicle.

Accommodation: You need to book your own accommodation. A list of motel dates and phone numbers will be sent to registered guests. If you prefer, the leader will book your accommodation using your credit card.

Meals: you need to pay for your own meals.

Park Entry Fees: You need to pay for your own park entry fees.


TAX RECEIPT: A tax receipt for 50% of the tour guiding fee will be issued to the person paying for the tour.

Tax Receipts






CANCELLATION POLICY: Refunds less a $50 administration fee will be given if cancellation notice received 14 days before date of tour.
No refunds if cancellation notice received less than 14 days before date of tour unless another client takes your place.

Tour Reservations

RESERVATIONS for Canada Saskatchewan Spring Birding Tour: June 3 – 21, 2024.

Please complete and submit the following form or email us your full name(s), mailing address, email address and requested tour dates.

Phone: 306-652-5975

Payment instructions will be emailed to you after you complete and submit the form below.

All fees support Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation.

If you do not have a cell phone, enter your land line.
Complete Mailing Address needed for tax receipt.
Check ALL that apply.
Smoking is allowed only inside your own personal vehicle. No smoking is permitted during meals, anywhere in shared accommodations or outside during birding stops or hikes.

If you do not hear back from us within 24 hours, then please email: or phone 306-652-5975.


Weir Birding and Walking Tour
White Pelican by Nick Saunders

Gift Certificates Available Now

This Weir Birding and Walking tour makes an excellent Christmas gift, birthday gift, anniversary gift, graduation gift or special gift for a birder, birdwatcher or anyone interested in nature.

GIFT CERTIFICATES: Click here for information about purchasing a gift certificate for this tour or any of our other tours.

Bird Tours Gift Certificate
CLICK PICTURE for details.

Tour Guide

Tour Guide: Stan Shadick. Click for more information about your tour guide.

Other Tours

Other Tours and Workshops: Click here to see a complete list of our upcoming tours and workshops.

Dancing Grouse Photography Tour
CLICK PICTURE for details.
Eagle Creek Tour
CLICK PICTURE for details
CLICK PICTURE for Whooping Crane Tour details.
Northern Hawk Owl Photo Tours
CLICK PICTURE for details.

Multiple Tours Discount

Can’t decide which tour to take?

Check out our multiple tours discount described here.