Dancing Grouse Photography Tour – 4 hour tour ideal for great viewing and photos

Early Morning Dancing Grouse Photography Tours during April and May

WHERE TO PHOTOGRAPH DANCING GROUSE IN SASKATCHEWAN, CANADA?

Morning Dancing Grouse Photography Tours and Evening Grouse Viewing Tours available April - May

Self-Drive Dancing Grouse Photography Tour to view and photograph dancing Sharp-tailed Grouse.

DANCING GROUSE PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR DESCRIPTION

Join our experienced local birding guide for a 3-5 hour dancing grouse photography tour. Because this group of Sharp-tailed Grouse dance very close to Saskatoon at sunrise, only a short drive is needed from the edge of the city to reach this early morning spectacle.  Many of the traditional indigenous dances were inspired by this incredibly energetic display by Saskatchewan's provincial bird.

NEW OPTION FOR 2022. One person in your group  may choose to use our special professional bird photography blind (tent). This TRAGOPAN Hokki V3 blind is ideal for obtaining images of the dancing grouse at birds eye level for a unique perspective of the early morning dance action. Its low profile means the birds ignore you and there is minimal shadow cast by the blind.  We have added layers of cushioning. Click Here to view a review video about this bird photography blind.

Bird Photography Blind

If you have a family group, you may observe and photograph the early morning action at a distance of only about 10 - 30 meters from your high clearance vehicle parked at the lek in a rough pasture on private land near Saskatoon.

Alternatively, during evening tours, 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 for viewing the birds.

Note: Smoking is prohibited during this dancing grouse photography tour.

  • Morning Dancing Grouse Photography Tour: 4:30 AM – 8:30 AM – approximate times during April
    3:45 AM – 7:45 AM – approximate times in May
  • Evening Viewing 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.
  • Morning tours are also recommended for photography because you will be much closer to the birds.
  • New for 2022. You may follow the Dancing Grouse Bird Photography tour with a Signs of Spring Tour where we will drive in search of bluebirds and other early arriving prairie birds for the balance of the morning.
  • A popular new option is to use our Tragopan Hokki Version 3 photographic blind for photographing the sunrise performance of dancing grouse at a lek on a restricted-access private farm near Saskatoon.  Alternatively, you may view the performance up close from your personal vehicle. Click here for a link to a wide-field video of the grouse dance taken from a private vehicle showing the birds dancing near a previous blind used in 2021.
  • 2 morning option. Some bird photographers who make a special trip to Saskatoon to photograph this dancing grouse spectacle prefer to book the 2-morning option. This way they can use the blind for 1 morning to photograph nearby birds at eye-level and then use their own vehicle as a blind on the second morning permitting them to view the action of all the birds at this lek (dancing ground). They also increase their chance of having ideal weather for at least 1 of the 2 mornings.

BAD WEATHER POLICY. Grouse do not display well on rainy or windy mornings. If the weather forecast is poor for the morning of your reserved dancing grouse photography tour, you will be given the option to reschedule your tour at no extra charge and join another morning's tour to observe and photograph the birds from your vehicle. Note the blind may not be available to you on this alternate date because another client may have booked it. If you wish to ensure access to our blind on a second morning, then you should book our 2-morning dancing grouse photography tour option described below. Please phone us at 306-652-5975 if you have any questions about this policy.

Suggested items to Bring on your Dancing Grouse Photography Tour:

  • Warm clothes suitable for the weather. Temperature may be below freezing at sunrise.
  • Sleeping Bag if using photographic blind.
  • Water bottle
  • Binoculars
  • Camera
  • Bean Bag or very low tripod for camera
  • Spotting Scope (optional for evening tours)

COVID SAFETY POLICY ON TOURS

  1. Your tour leader is fully vaccinated. For everyone's health and safety, participants must bring a paper copy showing their personal proof of full covid vaccination.
  2. Clients must normally drive themselves in their own personal or rented vehicle. The leader will normally drive in a separate vehicle. We will use cell phones to communicate between each other during the tour.
  3. Please wear a mask and maintain physical 2 meter distancing when walking outside or viewing birds through the spotting scope that I will set up.
  4. This policy may change when public health orders change or when Covid case numbers decrease.
  5. Please contact us before booking tour if you have any special requests with regard to this policy. In certain cases if requested, leader may be willing to ride in client's vehicle.

TOUR FEE OPTIONS

Note: We do not charge per person fees. All fees represent the total fee for your group of 1 - 4 persons traveling in a single vehicle.

1 Morning Dancing Grouse Photography Tour Fee: CAD $390 (about US$310, £235) for groups of 1 – 4 persons. Taxes included.
This dancing grouse photography tour fee includes guiding services and optional private use of a photographic blind for 1 person only during early morning tour.  Other persons may view and photograph grouse from your vehicle. 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.

2 Morning Dancing Grouse Photography Tour Fee: CAD $690 (about US$550, £415) for groups of 1 – 4 persons. Taxes included.
This dancing grouse photography tour fee includes guiding services and optional private use of a photographic blind for 1 person only during an early morning tour on 2 consecutive dates.  This option is recommended if you are on a limited schedule and wish to reserve 2 consecutive dates in our photographic blind in case weather is bad for photography on 1 of the mornings. 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.

Evening Dancing Grouse Viewing Tour Fee: CAD $290 (about US$230, £175) for groups of 1 – 4 persons. Taxes included.
Private tour fee includes guiding services only during evening driving tour. Dancing birds will be observed from a public road located about a 1 hour drive from Saskatoon  No option for photography.  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.

Combined Dancing Grouse Photography Tour and Signs of Spring Tour Fee: CAD $570 (about US$450, £345) for groups of 1 – 4 persons. Taxes included.
Dancing grouse photography tour fee includes guiding services only during early morning dancing grouse tour followed by a Signs of Spring tour for the balance of the morning.  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.

CANCELLATION POLICY: Refunds less a $100 administration fee will be given if cancellation notice received 60 days before date of tour.
No refunds if cancellation notice received less than 60 days before date of tour unless another client takes your place on the date of your tour.

All proceeds support the work of Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation registered charity in caring for injured and orphaned birds and small mammals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

RESERVATIONS: Submit the form below or send us your full name(s), mailing address, email address with requested tour dates.

E-mail: birdtours@sasktel.net
Phone: 306-652-5975
Address: 100 Rayner Avenue, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 2P8

Payment may be made by e-transfer payable to Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation and e-mailed to LSWR@sasktel.net.

Cheques may be mailed to above mailing address.

2022 Tour Reservation Request Form

Use Landline if you don't have a cell phone.
Address needed for the tax receipt.
Payment instructions will be emailed to you.
Suggested dates are April 15 - May 8. Late April is best.
Suggested dates are April 15 - May 8. Late April is best.
Only 1 person may use blind.

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

OTHER TOURS

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.

Dancing Grouse Photography Tour
Sharp-tailed Grouse Portrait
by Nick Saunders

Click to view this video about our Dancing Grouse Photography Tour.

GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE NOW

This dancing grouse photography tour makes an excellent birthday gift, mother's day gift, anniversary gift, graduation gift, retirement 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.

Sharp-tailed Grouse jumping
by Nick Saunders

 

Tragopan Hokki Version 3 Blind
Low Profile Hokki V3 Blind

TESTIMONIALS ABOUT DANCING GROUSE PHOTOGRAPHY TOURS

Canadian Geographic Article. Click Here.

"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
This morning is fantastic J.D. April 28, 2022

Thank you! It was so great to see these famous birds this morning!!! C.G. May 1, 2022

PREVIOUS TOUR CLIENT IMAGES

Here are a few images captured by clients Boyd Coburn, Brian Henderson,  Jim Lee and Lynda Corkum from inside our tent / blind during our private 2021 and 2022 Dancing Grouse Photography Tours.

Sharp-tailed Grouse by Boyd Coburn
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
2 Sharp-tailed Grouse by Boyd Coburn

OTHER BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY AND BIRDING TOURS AND WORKSHOPS

This dancing grouse photography tour may be taken along with any of the following tours and workshops.

MULTIPLE TOURS DISCOUNT

Can't decide which tour to take?

Check out our multiple tours discount described here.

HOW TO GET TO SASKATOON

Air: Saskatoon International Airport (YXE) is served by Air Canada, Westjet, and their partners United and Delta.

Train: Saskatoon's  Train Station is served by Via Rail's Canadian train serving Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Jasper and Vancouver.

Bus: Saskatoon - Edmonton and Saskatoon - Regina bus service

Car: Saskatoon is located on Canada's Yellowhead cross-country highway plus 6 other major highways connecting with all cities in Canada and USA. If you drive, you do not need to rent a car for our tours.

 

Stan Shadick – Tour Leader for Dancing Grouse Photography Tour

DANCING GROUSE PHOTOGRAPHY 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 and bird photography 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.

Stan 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”.

Stan regularly contributes sightings to e-bird and currently holds the e-bird record for the most bird species seen in Saskatchewan.