Saskatchewan Whooping Crane Tours
- Private Whooping Crane Tours
- Group Whooping Crane Tours
- 1-day and 2-day Whooping Crane tour packages
- 2-day packages best for seeing both Whooping Cranes and Sandhill Cranes flocks
- Local Guide has 50 years experience leading Saskatchewan Whooping Crane tours!
- Drive your own vehicle for best viewing opportunities (no crowded vans)
- Best selection of tour dates
- Car pooling option available to share costs
- Partial Tax Receipt (All proceeds support Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation charity)
Whooping Crane and Sandhill Crane Tours ♿
Private Whooping Crane Tours: Mid September - Late October
Private Sandhill Crane Tours: Early September and Late October
2023 Private 1-day Whooping Crane Tours available: September 28, October 4,5, 10, 11, 12, 18, 19.
2023 Private 1/2 - day Sandhill Crane Tours available: September 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, October 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31.
2023 Private 2-day Whooping Crane and Sandhill Crane Tours available: September 22-23, 24-25, 26-27, 29-30, October 2-3, 6-7, 13-14,16-17,20-21,22-23.
2023 Public Whooping Crane Group Tour: Sunday, October 1.
Day Tours 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
1/2 Day Sandhill Crane Tours: 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Self-Drive Escorted Birding Tour
Advance Booking Required
NEWS FLASH: Our October 16, 2022 tour found 73++ Whooping Cranes including 3 families with TWINS!
Whooping Crane Tour Description
Grain fields near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada have become the best dependable viewing location in the world to view rare Whooping Cranes, the tallest bird in North America. As local birders, we know the best historical places to search for these spectacular birds. All proceeds support Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation charity.
For many years, our Saskatchewan Whooping Crane tours led by Stan Shadick have found groups of 10 - 30 birds feeding during fall migration. In 2018, we found a single flock in excess of 150 whoopers! In 2019 and 2020, there were several flocks totaling over 100 individuals. In 2021, between 30 and 100 individuals were present during our tours between September 17 and October 24.
The population recovery of the endangered Whooping Crane has become a tremendous success story for wildlife conservation. The Canadian population of these birds once dipped as low as 15 individuals but now exceeds 500 birds. In 2022, 95 nests were counted on their breeding grounds in Wood Buffalo National Park and 68 young cranes were counted at the end of summer.
In 2023, we are planning both 1-day and 2-day custom private tours from mid-September through mid-October to look for Whooping Cranes and/or Sandhill Cranes. We also plan 1/2 day private Sandhill Crane tours. These 2 species of cranes are usually found in different locations. We often find Sandhills in flocks of 500 to several thousand. We will also be on the lookout for large flocks of Canada, Cackling, Snow, Ross's and Greater White-fronted Geese as well as ducks, swans plus songbirds including Harris's Sparrow and Rusty Blackbird. We regularly find several roosting flocks containing over 100,000 Snow Geese! You may view the birds using our high quality spotting scope.
Most of our out of province guests prefer to book our 2-day tour for the best chances for observing both Whooping and Sandhill Cranes. The 2-day tour option also provides a second chance to view more Whoopers on the second day at additional locations.
♿ This tour is ideal for low-mobility clients because they may remain in their vehicle during this driving tour.
Because cranes sometimes move to different locations on different dates, we cannot guarantee finding whoopers on any tour. Nevertheless, Saskatoon Custom Bird Tours has always found Whooping Cranes on all of our previous Whooping Crane Viewing tours.
WHOOPERS AND SANDHILLS
What to Wear
What to Wear. In case of an early snowfall or cool wet weather, bring a winter coat, raincoat, hat, gloves and long underwear. Bring your binoculars and a scope (optional). Cameras are optional.
Click to hear Calgary Naturalist Brian Keating on CBC Calgary giving his review of a recent Whooping Crane tour he booked with us.
"Thanks again for a terrific couple of days of birding" (Ian T)
"We had such a fantastic time and learned so much from you. We will be back for other tours in the future" (Paulette M)
"Once again thanks Stan. Many long lasting memories." (Bob P)
"We just wanted to thank you again for a most enjoyable tour last week. The whooping cranes, of course, were the highlight, but we also found your history of the cranes quite fascinating. Over the years, we had heard some of the recovery story, but the original breeding across the prairies was a surprise. And we hadn’t heard about all of the early attempts to help the recovery. As you said, it would be great to see breeding resume in Saskatchewan, and possibly other areas as well.
We also appreciated the opportunity to see several species that only appear in southern Ontario as “rarities” or “accidentals”. Always nice to see birds we haven’t seen in a long time.
Thanks again for all your patient help and guiding." DJ & SJ
Participants on these tours need to drive their own personal or rented vehicle. RVs and vehicles pulling trailers are permitted on private tours but are not recommended. Owners of full electric vehicles should phone 306-652-5975 to discuss whether their range is sufficient for this tour. The driving distance may be about 400 km for Whooping Crane tours and 100 km for half-day Sandhill Crane tours. EV charging stations are available in several Saskatoon hotels.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
TOUR FEE for private 2-day Whooping and Sandhill Crane tour excluding transportation: CAD $1330 (about US $1040, £870) for a party of 1 – 4 persons. Fee includes only guiding services (8 hours/day) of leader and shared use of spotting scope. This fee is the total fee for your party. it is not a per person fee. Client must cover their transportation costs in their personal or rented vehicle. Guide will travel in a separate vehicle. We can communicate via cell phone. Accommodation and meals are not included.. Email email@example.com for information about payment options. We will stop to pick up food for lunch. This 2-day option is the preferred choice for observing both Whooping and Sandhill Cranes.
TOUR FEE for private 1-day Whooping Crane tour excluding transportation: CAD $690 (about US $540, £450) for a party of 1 – 4 persons. Fee includes only guiding services (8 hours/day) of leader and shared use of spotting scope. Client must cover transportation costs in their personal or rented vehicle. Guide will travel in a separate vehicle. We can communicate via cell phone. Accommodation and meals are not included. The 1-day tour available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays will focus on looking for Whooping Cranes but likely will not find Sandhill Cranes.
TOUR FEE for private 1/2-day Sandhill Crane tour excluding transportation: CAD $390 (about US $290, £255) for a party of 1 – 4 persons. Fee includes only guiding services (8 hours/day) of leader and shared use of spotting scope. Client must cover transportation costs in their personal or rented vehicle. Guide may travel in a separate vehicle. We can communicate via cell phone. Accommodation and meals are not included. The 1/2-day tour will focus on looking for Sandhill Cranes near Saskatoon.
BUDGET TOUR FEE for October 1, 2023 public Whooping Crane group tour excluding transportation: CAD $490 (about USD $380, £320) for 1 person or $590 (about USD $480, £390) for a party of 2 - 4 persons travelling in a single car or truck. RVs are not suitable on group tours. Unlike the previous private "family" tours, participants in this 8-hour public tour will join a group of whooping crane enthusiasts in a small convoy of up to 6 vehicles.
Tour starts about 8 am and returns to Saskatoon about 4 pm. Fee includes guiding services (8 hours/day) of leader and shared use of spotting scope . Client must cover transportation costs in their personal or rented vehicle. Guide may travel in a separate vehicle. If so, we can communicate via cell phone app. Accommodation and meals are not included. This 1-day public tour will focus on looking for Whooping Cranes. Masks to be worn when outside your vehicle.
TAX RECEIPT: A tax receipt for 50% of the tour fee will be issued to the person paying for the tour.
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.
All guiding fee proceeds will be donated to Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation.
Reservations: Complete the form below or email: firstname.lastname@example.org and provide names of clients, their addresses and requested type of tour and tour date.
Full payment due at time of booking. Payment instruction will be emailed to you after registration form is received. You may also phone Stan Shadick at 306-652-5975.
2023 Tour Reservation Request Form
If you do not hear back from us within 24 hours, then please email: email@example.com or phone 306-652-5975.
©️ Madeleine McLaughlin
with legs like ruby stilts
the crane lifts it wings
to it's side
and dances with little strides
Click here for balance of poem
When are the best dates to view Saskatchewan Whooping Cranes?
- Whooping Cranes can normally be observed near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada between September 20 and October 20. Whooping Cranes might also be found earlier and later than these dates.
- Best Whooping Crane tour dates for warm weather and scenic fall colours are September 20 - 28.
- Best Whooping Crane tour dates for maximum numbers of cranes are usually October 7 - 22.
- Best Whooping Crane tour dates for best photography conditions (minimum heat haze): October 10 - 22.
Note: We cannot guarantee you will obtain great photos. Our first priority is to avoid harassing the birds. How close we can get is unpredictable.