Van Scoy Lakes Birding Tour – 6 hours with fascinating woodland and water birds

Van Scoy Lakes Birding Tour

Self-Drive Guided Birding Tour

Private Tours

Private Tours: Mid-May to August
Van Scoy Lakes Tour Suggested Time: 8:30 AM – 2:30 PM

For a quote, email proposed date(s) to birdtours [at] sasktel [dot] net

Public Group Tours

Upcoming Group Tours:

  • Friday,  July 26, 2024 8:30 AM – 2:30 PM
  • Wednesday, August 14, 2024 8:30 AM – 2:30 PM

Estimated Driving Distance: 160 km

PUBLIC WASHROOMS: Located in the Perdue campground and gas station.


Following a 30 minute highway drive from Saskatoon, we will take a series of back roads through grassland and pond habitat where we can stop and listen for prairie birds which might include Swainson’s Hawk, Western Kingbird, Loggerhead Shrike,  Pied-billed Grebe, Western Meadowlark, Sprague’s Pipit, Baird’s Sparrow and Long-billed Curlew.  At our crossing over Eagle Creek, we should find Bank and Cliff Swallows and possibly a Belted Kingfisher or Great Blue Heron.

Later, we will drive a loop stopping at various points along the shores of the Van Scoy Lakes watching for numerous species of ducks, grebes, marsh birds and shorebirds. Our waterbird 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, Spotted Sandpiper and Wilson’s Phalarope.

In marsh habitat near the shores of Van Scoy Lakes, we may find Marsh Wrens, Common Yellowthroats, Red-winged and Yellow-headed Blackbirds. We will watch the shrubs near these Van Scoy lakes for Clay-colored and Song Sparrows plus Brown Thrashers and Gray Catbirds.

During the months of May, July and August, we could find a variety of migrating arctic-nesting shorebirds visiting Van Scoy Lakes including Least, Semipalmated, Baird’s, Pectoral, Solitary and Stilt Sandpipers, Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs  plus Black-bellied and Semipalmated Plovers and dowitchers. Rare nesting Black-necked Stilts and Sandhill Cranes are sometimes found.

During our final lunch stop in a town park, we may find Warbling Vireo, House Wren, Yellow Warbler, Baltimore Oriole, Purple Martin and Eurasian Collared-Doves. You can bring a lunch or pick up some food at the local Co-op store.

Join us for this leisurely driving tour.  Great for a family outing. Both novice and experienced birders are welcome. If requested, a pair of binoculars may be borrowed during tour.

During this Van Scoy Lakes birding tour, your leader will identify the birds and set up a spotting scope allowing you to get the best view of the birds.


Participants on these tours need to drive their own personal or rented vehicle. RVs and vehicles pulling trailers are permitted on a private tour but not on group tours. Van Scoy Lakes birding tour may be suitable for owners of full electric vehicles. Several Saskatoon hotels have EV charging stations.


If you would like to share the costs of a group 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

Van Scoy Lakes Birding Tour Fees

Private Van Scoy Lakes Tour Fee: $490 (about US$360, £315) for a party of 1 to 4 persons on the day of your choice. Fee covers expert guiding services during the 6-hour tour. Meals, transportation and accommodation are NOT included. Taxes included.
SAVE $50 if you have room to transport leader during tour from Saskatoon and back.

Public Van Scoy Lakes Group Tour Fee: $390 (about US$290, £235) for a party of 1 to 4 persons on the day of your choice. Fee covers expert guiding services during the 6-hour tour. Meals, transportation and accommodation are NOT included. Taxes included.
SAVE $50 if you have room to transport leader during tour from Saskatoon and back.

TAX RECEIPT: A tax receipt for 50% of the tour fee will be issued to the person paying for the tour provided payment is made by e-transfer to

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.

Reservations for Van Scoy Lakes Tour

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

Phone: 306-652-5975

After you submit the form, we will email you payment instructions.

Use landline if you don’t have a cell phone.
Mailing address needed for tax receipt.
Select all that apply.
Smoking is allowed only inside your own personal vehicle. No smoking is permitted outside during birding stops or hikes.

Please email if you do not hear back from us within 24 hours.

Watch for avocet during Van Scoy Lakes Birding Tour
American Avocet
by Nick Saunders

Tour Guide

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

What to Bring

Suggested items to Bring:

  • Lunch
  • Clothes suitable for the weather (rain coat, hat, walking shoes, etc.)
  • Water bottle
  • Binoculars and camera or spotting scope (optional)
  • Ensure your vehicle has a full gas tank

Other Birding Tours

This Van Scoy Lakes Birding Tour may be taken in conjunction with any of the following summer birding tours.

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

Multiple Tours Discount

Can’t decide which tour to take?

Check out our multiple tours discount described here.

Monthly Newsletter

Learn about special offers and new tours.
CLICK HERE to sign up for the monthly electronic Newsletter from Saskatoon Custom Bird Tours.

Gift Certificates Available Now

This Van Scoy Lakes Birding Tour makes an excellent birthday gift, anniversary gift, graduation gift, Mother’s Day gift, Faher’s Day 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.

Proceeds support Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation charity.

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. This policy may change when public health orders change or when Covid case numbers decrease.
  4. 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.