Sturgeon River Ranch Birding and Bison Tour – Exciting 3-day visit to wilderness region of Prince Albert National Park

Sturgeon River Ranch Birding and Bison Tour

Sturgeon River Ranch Birding and Bison Tour

GROUP TOUR: July 17 – 19, 2023

Escorted self-driving tour

Estimated Return Driving Distance from Saskatoon: 480 km


  • PRINCE ALBERT (30 m to Shellbrook)
  • NORTH BATTLEFORD (1 h to Blaine Lake)

SASKATOON starting point: 9:00 AM
BLAINE LAKE starting point: 9:50 AM
SHELLBROOK starting point:  11:00 A

Where to see Birds in Sturgeon River district?

Sturgeon River Ranch Birding and Bison Tour Description

Join a group tour with a small group of birders on a special 3-day / 2-night Sturgeon River Ranch Birding and Bison Tour.

Explore the backcountry of Prince Albert National park to view boreal forest songbirds and wildlife. We plan to travel within the park on foot and by horse-drawn wagon.  We might see some wild bison that live in this region. Two nights will be spent at the Sturgeon River Ranch adjacent to the park. An optional 2-3 hour canoe trip along the Sturgeon River may be possible.

 We will communicate using cell phone apps during the driving portion of this tour. 

Both novice and experienced bird watchers are welcome. A loaner pair of binoculars may be available if requested. The leader will bring a spotting scope to allow you to view the birds under high magnification.

Sturgeon River Ranch host/wildlife guide/wagon driver: John Prosak (
Birding Guide: Stan Shadick (

Proceeds support Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation charity.


DAY 1. Depart Saskatoon with birding guide Stan Shadick at 9 am looking for prairie shorebirds and other water birds at small lakes and ponds north of Saskatoon. We will later view the plentiful birds at Gillies Lake and at other birding stops. We will arrive at Sturgeon River Ranch in the late afternoon. Following supper, we will go on a short evening bird walk near the ranch.  Overnight: Sturgeon River Ranch House.

DAY 2. We will look for boreal songbirds during an early morning walk. About 10 am, we plan to take a horse-drawn wagon trip into the back country of Prince Albert National Park to look for Bison and other birds. Following our supper, your guide (a retired professional astronomer) will point out the constellations and discuss some of the mysteries of the heavens. while listening for any owls hooting Overnight: Sturgeon River Ranch House.

DAY 3. After breakfast, we may optionally take a 2 – 3 hour canoe trip downstream along the Sturgeon River looking for birds as we go. Following lunch at the ranch, Stan Shadick will lead you back to Saskatoon making birding stops at Redberry Lake Bird Sanctuary and at Radisson Lake Important Bird Area.

Some of the special birds in the Sturgeon River region include Alder Flycatcher, Tennessee, Connecticut and Mourning Warblers, Swamp and White-throated Sparrows.

See sidebar for a list of potential Sturgeon River bird species. A checklist of Saskatchewan birds may be downloaded HERE.


All participants will travel in their own personal or rented vehicle. If feasible, we may book a van rental from Saskatoon and back.


If you would like to share the costs of a tour with other interested birders, then complete the Carpooling Section of the Registration Request Form below or email the tour name, your name, phone number and email address to

Accommodation Options

Bedrooms in the ranch house plus accommodation in their RVs are available.
They have three rooms in the house.

  • 2 rooms with bunk beds (Queen on bottom single on top)
  • 1 room with king bed.

You should bring your own sleeping bag and pillow or rent a set from the ranch for $30.
Because rooms are limited, please book as soon as possible.
Individuals may share a room with another participant.
There is a minimum number and maximum number of participants for this group tour.

Suggested Items to Bring

  • Binoculars
  • Cell Phone
  • Sun Hat
  • Rain Jacket
  • Hiking Boots
  • Insect Repellent
  • Mosquito Head Net (in case bugs are bad)
  • Sleeping Bag and Pillow (unless you wish to rent them from ranch)
  • Food for snacks

Sturgeon River Birding and Bison Tour Fee

July 17 – 19, 2023 Sturgeon River Ranch 3-day Group Birding Tour Fee: CAD $750 (about US $550, £450) per person.
Fee includes birding guide services only. Meals and accommodation and transportation are NOT included.
Trip begins in Saskatoon at 9 am on July 17 and returns about 4 pm on July 19. Your vehicle will be part of a small convoy of vehicles on this tour.
SAVE $200 if you have room to transport leader in your vehicle during tour from Saskatoon and back.

Please book your tour as soon as possible. Accommodation options are very limited in the remote areas visited on this tour. A minimum number of parties is required for the group tour to proceed.

TAX RECEIPT: A tax receipt for 50% of the tour 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 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.

Additional Ranch Costs

If you have questions about these costs, please visit or email
Please wait until tour is confirmed before paying these costs which are tax included.

  • Ranch house rooms are $100 per night
  • RV accommodation available for larger parties at $160 per night.
  • Meals are $75 per day
  • Wagon Ride Cost: $550 will be shared among participants.

Registration Form: Sturgeon River Birding and Bison Tour

Complete the form below or email: and provide names of clients, their addresses and requested type of tour and tour date.
Full payment due at time of booking.

The number of participants accepted on this group tour is limited. Payment instruction will be emailed to you after registration form is received.

Questions: please email or phone 306-652-5975 during evenings.

If you don’t have a cell phone, enter your landline number.
Information for booking your own accommodation will be sent to you later.
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.

TOUR GUIDE: Sturgeon River Birding Tour

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


Ovenbird singing
by May Haga

Potential Birds of Interest during Sturgeon River Birding Tour

  • Common Loon
  • American White Pelican
  • Osprey
  • Bald Eagle
  • Barred Owl
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  • American Three-toed Woodpecker
  • Black-backed Woodpecker
  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • Blue-headed Vireo
  • Canada Jay
  • Boreal Chickadee
  • Winter Wren
  • Swainson’s Thrush
  • Hermit Thrush
  • Chestnut-sided Warbler
  • Mourning Warbler
  • Connecticut Warbler
  • Ovenbird
  • Chestnut-sided Warbler
  • Le Conte’s Sparrow
  • Swamp Sparrow
  • White-throated Sparrow
  • Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Can I bring my pet dog on this tour?

Dogs are not permitted on group tours.

Gift Certificates

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

How to get to Saskatoon

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

Air Canada Star Alliance partners also include Aegean, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana, Austrian, Avianca, Brussels, Copa, Croatia, EgyptAir, Ethiopian, EVA, Lot, Lufthansa, SAS, Shenzhen, Singapore, South African, Swiss, TAP, Thai, Turkish, United.

Westjet international partners include AeroMexico, Air France, Air Transat, Azores, Cathay Pacific, China, China Eastern, China Southern, Delta, Emirates, Hainan, Hong Kong, Japan, KLM, Korean, LATAM, Philippine, Quantas, Virgin Atlantic, Xiamen.

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.


Covid Safety Policy on Tours

  1. Your tour leader is fully vaccinated.
  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.

Other Tours

This Sturgeon River Group Birding Tour may be taken in conjunction with any of the following summer birding tours.

Last Mountain Lake Tour

Chaplin Shorebirds Tour

Multiple Tours Discount

Can’t decide which tour to take?

Check out our multiple tours discount described here.

Monthly Newsletter

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CLICK HERE to sign up for the monthly electronic Newsletter from Saskatoon Custom Bird Tours.