Dancing Grouse Tour

Early Morning or Evening Tours during April and May

Self-Drive Birding Tour

Join our experienced local birding guide for a 3-5 hour early morning or evening drive to view the spectacle of dancing Sharp-tailed Grouse. Many of the traditional indigenous dances were inspired by this display.

This tour makes an excellent birthday gift or anniversary gift for persons introduced in birds and nature.

If you are by yourself,  you may choose to use our special small tent to photograph the birds up close.

If you have a family group, you may observe them at a distance of about 50 meters from your high clearance vehicle parked in a rough pasture on private land near Saskatoon. Alternatively, your group may view them at a distance of 100 - 300 meters using any type of personal vehicle parked at a roadside lek south of Saskatoon.  Your parked car serves as a bird blind.

Note: Smoking is prohibited during this tour.

COVID SAFETY. We will practice special safe self-isolation steps during all 2021 spring tours. Clients will drive their own personal or rented vehicle while the leader will travel in a separate vehicle. We will communicate via cell phone.

  • Morning Tour: 4:30 AM – 8:30 AM – approximate times during April
    3:45 AM – 7:45 AM – approximate times in May
  • Evening Tour: 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM -  approximate times in April
    7:00 PM - 10:00 PM - approximate times in May
  • Morning tours are recommended because birds are usually more active near sunrise than sunset.  April or early May dates are recommended to view the maximum number of birds.
  • Trip will be postponed if the weather forecast suggests rain or strong winds. Grouse do not display well during adverse weather.
  • New for 2021 is an option to use a photographic blind for photographing the dancing grouse at a lek on a restricted-access private farm near Saskatoon. Thanks to Bob Godwin for loaning the tent. Alternatively, you may view the performance up close from your personal vehicle. Click here for a link to a wide-field video from a private vehicle showing the birds dancing near the blind.

Suggested items to Bring:

  • Warm clothes suitable for the weather. It may be below freezing at sunrise.
  • Water bottle
  • Binoculars
  • Spotting Scope (optional)
  • Camera (optional)

Tour Fee: CAN$325 (about US$230, £185) for groups of 1 – 4 persons. Taxes included.
Fee includes guiding services only during early morning or evening tour.  The person paying for the tour will receive a tax receipt for 50% of the tour fee. Client supplies their own transportation. Meals, transportation and accommodation are NOT included.

All proceeds support the work of Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation registered charity.

RESERVATIONS: Send us your full name(s), mailing address, email address and requested tour dates.

E-mail: birdtours@sasktel.net
Phone: 306-652-5975
Text: 306-281-2215

Payment may be made by etransfer payable to Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation and emailed to LSWR@sasktel.net

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

Click here to listen to a description of what you will hear and see.

Sharp-tailed Grouse Portrait
by Nick Saunders
Sharp-tailed Grouse jumping
by Nick Saunders

TESTIMONIALS

"This is amazing. They are beautiful" C.P.  April 14, 2021

"Thank you for one of the most memorable experiences I shall remember forever.  I am very grateful for this opportunity and appreciate that you went above and beyond by giving me the opportunity to be in the middle of the activity in the blind. " B.H. April 15, 2021

"This is so fun!!"  J.Z. April 17, 2021

"Just have to say I had one of the most phenomenal Sask-natural experiences this morning watching over 20 male & 6 female Sharp-tailed grouse dance on their dancing ground. We joined the birds at 5 am and stayed until the last ones left about 8:30 am. I’m a fan that the Sharp-tailed Grouse is our provincial bird and I understand that they and their dance has a special place in some First Nations cultures.
I want to thank Stan Shadick for this great tour through Saskatoon Custom Bird Tours and of course the fee went to help Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation – a super organization! I was very happy to help out with a contribution." D.F. April 20, 2021

 

PREVIOUS TOUR CLIENT IMAGES

Here are a few images captured by client Brian Henderson,  Jim Lee and Lynda Corkum from inside a tent / blind during a 2021 tour.

Sharp-tailed Grouse Close-up
by Brian Henderson
Male Sharp-tailed Grouse
by Lynda Corkum
How one grouse appears to his opponent
by Brian Henderson
Male Sharp-tailed Grouse
by Jim Lee
Grouse fighting
by Brian Henderson
Tent / Blind at Dancing Grouse Tour
by Brian Henderson

 

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, Nature Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan Extension Division. He is a past president of Nature Saskatchewan as well as a 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”. He is currently 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.