Canada – Saskatchewan Summer Birding Grand Tour: June 28 – July 17, 2024

Saskatoon Custom Bird Tours

Email: birdtours [at]
Phone: 306 [then] 652 [then] 5975

See both eastern and western North American birds during the peak of the breeding season.

Canada Saskatchewan 20-day Birding Tour

Saskatchewan Birding Tour: June 28 - July 17Canada Saskatchewan Birding Tour
June 28 – July 17, 2024

Guiding Fee
USD $5770 per person
CAD $7980 per person
UK £4625 per person

Join a small group 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.

Stretching across half of the province, the boreal forest is home to many eastern warblers, woodpeckers, flycatchers and forest hawks. We will search for forest birds along the Saskatchewan River Valley, the Pasquia Hills and at Duck Mountain Provincial Park.

Burrowing Owl
Burrowing Owl by Nick Saunders

The great expanses of arid prairie grasslands attract many special ground-nesting birds. We will visit Grasslands National Park and Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Old Man on His Back Plateau site and Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park.

Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park Trails

We will visit search the best birding hotspots in the East, Centre and West Blocks of the scenic Cypress Hills that are home to many sub-alpine birds.

We will also look for riparian birds along the South Saskatchewan River valley and the Souris River valley.


Special Birds of Interest

During this Canada – Saskatchewan Summer Birding Tour, we expect to observe over 180 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 Stilt
  • American Avocet
  • Willet
  • Marbled Godwit
  • Hudsonian Godwit
  • Long-billed Curlew
  • Upland Sandpiper
  • Baird’s 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 – Fri. June 28, 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.

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

7:00 PM – 8:30 PM We have scheduled a short welcoming visit to the weir on the South Saskatchewan River near the hotel to look for American White Pelicans and other river birds.

Pelican at weir bird walk
American White Pelican
by Nick Saunders

Day 2 Sat. June 29, 2024: Carrot River

8:30 AM Check out of hotel after breakfast.
8:45 AM  We then drive northeast to Carrot River.

Lunch at a restaurant in Nipawin.
Grab food at grocery for lunch and breakfast for next 2 days. (Motel will have fridge in room.)
Possible visit to Nature Saskatchewan’s Maurice Street Sanctuary in forest habitat.
Check In to Carrot River motel
Early Supper at Carrot River restaurant
Late evening outing along Saskatchewan River valley to watch for rare Chimney Swifts and to watch and/or listen for Eastern Whip-poor-wills and Barred Owls.

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


Barred Owl

Day 3 Sun. June 30, 2024: Pasquia Hills

Early Breakfast at motel
We plan to spend the day driving roads on the north side of Pasquia Hills in search of warblers and other songbirds.

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

Bring a picnic lunch for the road
Overnight Carrot River motel
Supper at Carrot River restaurant

Overnight at Carrot River Motel for second of 2 nights.

Golden-winged Warbler

Day 4 Mon July 1, 2024: Pasquia Hills – Duck Mountain Park

Happy Canada Day!

After Breakfast, morning birding along roads towards Greenwater Lake Park.

Lunch on the road.

Supper at Duck Mountain Resort.

Overnight Duck Mountain Park cabins for first of 3 nights.

Connecticut Warbler
Connecticut Warbler by Nick Saunders

Day 5 Tue. July 2, 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.

Blackburnian Warbler

Day 6 Wed. July 3, 2024: Moose Mountain Park

Morning Birding after Breakfast in Duck Mountain park.

After checkout, we will go birding at nearby Good Spirit Lake Provincial Park and then drive south to Moose Mountain Park.

Note: today’s schedule is subject to change depending upon guest interests

Overnight for first of 2 nights at Moose Mountain Park resort

Evening birding in the park

Western Grebe
Western Grebe by May Haga

Day 7 Thu. July 4, 2024 Moose Mountain Park

Short early morning birding before breakfast

After breakfast continue birding along roads and hiking trails in Moose Mountain Park.

Lunch at a cafe in the park

Afternoon birding along park roads.

Supper near the park.

Overnight for second of 2 nights at Moose Mountain resort

Great Crested Flycatcher

Day 8 Fri. July 5, 2024 Moose Mountain Park to Estevan

Breakfast at Resort

After breakfast, we will continue birding in the park and then check out of motel.

After checkout we will bird as we drive to Oxbow Regional Park where we will watch for Yellow-throated Vireos on this loop of the Souris River.

Overnight Estevan motel for first of 2 nights,

Go birding in Estevan Regional Park in the evening.


Yellow-headed Blackbird
Yellow-headed Blackbird
by Nick Saunders

Day 9 Saturday. July 6, 2024: Souris River Valley

7:00 AM Breakfast at an Estevan Restaurant.

Today we will explore the birds along the scenic Souris River downstream of Roche Perce. We hope to find Wood Ducks, Eastern Wood Pewees, Lazuli Bunting, Orchard Oriole, Grasshopper Sparrow, Sprague’s Pipit, Mountain Bluebird, Eastern Bluebird, Yellow-throated Vireo, Black-billed Cuckoo, warblers and possibly a rare Black-headed Grosbeak or Red-headed Woodpecker. We should also find Painted Turtles and possibly a Snapping Turtle.

Overnight at Estevan motel for second of 2 nights.

Lazuli Bunting
Lazuli Bunting by Nick Saunders

Day 10 Sun. July 7, 2024 Boundary Dam & Nickle Lake

After breakfast, we will go birding along the Boundary Dam reservoir.

After checkout from the hotel, we will explore the birds at Rafferty Dam, Mainprize Reginal Park, Nickle Lake Regional Park and the Wakamow Valley in Moose Jaw. We may be able to visit the Burrowing Owl Interpretive Centre and see a captive owl up close.

Overnight for first of 2 nights at a motel in Moose Jaw.

Wood Duck

Day 11 Mon. July 8, 2024: Buffalo Pound Lake Park

We will make our first stop at the park’s Buffalo Paddock. From here we will walk the boardwalk looking and listening for herons, bitterns, rails, wrens, sparrows and yellowthroats. We will then take a leisurely hike along the south side of Nicolle Flats Marsh to the point where we reach the wooded Moose Jaw River flows into the Qu’Appelle River.  We will have our lunch here near an old stone homestead in which a pair of Rock Wrens is sometimes found.

After returning to our vehicles, we will explore other lake viewpoints and wooded picnic and campgrounds. and coulees within Buffalo Pound Provincial Park. The is a great area for Brown Thrashers, Gray Catbirds and several vireos. Many kinds of warblers may be seen during migration in May and late August.

During the final portion of the tour, we will make stops in grassland areas to look for prairie songbirds. We will then drive to stop on the causeway over Buffalo Pound Lake where other lake birds may be seen. Finally, we will make stops along a road that traverses the grassy slope of the north riverbank to look for Mountain Bluebirds and other songbirds.

Overnight for second of 2 nights at a Moose Jaw motel.

Loggerhead Shrike
Loggerhead Shrike by Nick Saunders

Day 12 Tue. July 9, 2024: Chaplin Shorebirds

After breakfast, we will drive west to Chaplin and spend most of the day exploring Chaplin Lake, Reed Lake, Lonepine Lake and Herbert marsh in search of numerouse shorebirds.

Endangered Piping Plover are often found here.

  • Other shorebirds and waders often include White-faced Ibis, Red Knot (spring), Sanderling, Wilson’s Phalarope, Red-necked Phalarope, American Avocet, Black-necked Stilt, Marbled Godwit, Hudsonian Godwit, Stilt Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Baird’s Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Lesser Yellowlegs, Willet, Solitary Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper, Black-bellied Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer.
  • Possible Grassland birds include Upland Sandpiper, Long-billed Curlew, Lark Bunting, Baird’s Sparrow, Chestnut-collared Longspur, Western Meadowlark.

After supper in Swift Current, we drive west to stay at a motel in Maple Creek for the first of 2 nights.

White-faced Ibis
White-faced Ibis by May Haga

Day 13 Wed. July 10, 2024 Cypress Hills

7:00 AM Breakfast on your own at a Maple Creek motel

8:30 AM Tour departs Maple Creek about 8:30 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.

Overnight at motel for second of 2 nights

Red-naped Sapsucker
Red-naped Sapsucker by May Haga

Day 14 Thu. July 11, 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.
Golden Eagle
by Nick Saunders

Day 15 Fri. July 12, 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.
Chestnut-collared Longspur
Chestnut-collared Longspur by Nick Saunders

Day 16 Sat. July 13, 2024 Pine Cree Coulee 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
  • Check out of motel
  • 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.
Golden Eagle
by Nick Saunders

Day 17 Sun. July 14, 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

Burrowing Owl
Burrowing Owl by Nick Saunders

Day 18 Mon. July 15, 2024: Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park

7:30 am Breakfast in hotel

  • We will spend part of the morning in Grasslands National Park.
  • Lunch in Swift Current restaurant.
  • Afternoon birding at Saskatchewan Landing Park

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

Overnight for first of 3 nights at Park Town Hotel.


Long-billed Curlew

Day 19 Tue. July 16, 2024: Porter and Blackstrap Lakes

9:00 AM After breakfast, we go birding at Porter Lake.

We then return to hotel for lunch on your own.

In the afternoon we will go birding at Blackstrap Provincial Park, a birding hotspot near Saskatoon.

Supper on your own.

Overnight at Park Town Hotel for second of 3 nights.


Watch for avocets during this tour
American Avocet
by Nick Saunders

Day 20 Wed. July 17, 2024: Gardiner Dam and Anerley Lakes

After breakfast in your hotel, we will visit Gardiner Dam region and the nearby Anerley Lakes valley. Some of the special birds we will look for include: Great Blue Heron colony, Osprey, Swainson’s Hawk, Piping Plover and American White Pelicans. We should also find many ducks and marsh birds. We might even find a Long-billed Curlew.

The Gardiner Dam region has many diving birds on Lake Diefenbaker and along the South Saskatchewan River. The lake shore provides nesting habitat for the rare Piping Plover. Great Blue Herons have nested nearby. The woodlands in Coldwell Regional Park has several kinds of woodpeckers, vireos, flycatchers, warblers and sparrows. Spotted Towhees are found here. The Anerley Lakes valley may have both grassland birds and marsh birds.

5 pm Return to Hotel where the tour ends.

Optional Extension tour to Meadow Lake Park on July 18 and 19, 2024.

There is a 2-day birding tour planned to visit Meadow Lake Park northwest of Saskatoon for the next 2 days. Participants on this tour are eligible for a $100 discount.

CLICK HERE for details.

Piping Plover
by Nick Saunders
Stan Shadick – Tour Leader


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 $7980 per person (about USD $5770; UK £4625) 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 for the duration of the tour.

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 Summer Birding Tour: 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 Canada Saskatchewan Summer Birding 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.