Whooping Crane and Sandhill Crane Tours
Mid September - Late October
Self-Drive Escorted Birding Tour
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 2021, a record number of 102 nests were counted on their breeding grounds in Wood Buffalo National Park and 50 young cranes were counted at the end of summer.
In 2022, 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. These 2 species 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. You may view the birds using our high quality spotting scope.
COVID SAFETY POLICY ON TOURS
- 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.
- Clients must normally drive themselves in their own personal or rented vehicle. The leader will usually drive in a separate vehicle. We will use cell phones to communicate between each other during the tour.
- 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.
- This policy may change when public health orders change or when Covid case numbers decrease.
- 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 or drive client's vehicle.
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).
Click to hear Calgary Naturalist Brian Keating on CBC Calgary giving his review of a recent Whooping Crane tour he booked with us.
Canadian Geographic Travel Article: Click to read "A Saskatchewan road trip in search of Whooping Cranes"
Canadian Geographic Article. Click Here.
"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)
TOUR FEE for private 2-day tour excluding transportation: CAD $1330 (about US $1050)
for groups of 1 – 4 persons. Fee includes only guiding services (8 hours/day) of leader and shared use of spotting scope. 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. Masks to be worn when outside your vehicle.
TOUR FEE for private 1-day tour excluding transportation: CAD $690 (about US $545)
for groups 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. Masks to be worn when outside your vehicle.
BUDGET TOUR FEE for October 2, 2022 public tour excluding transportation: CAD $490 for 1 person or $590 for groups of 2 - 4 persons travelling in a single vehicle.
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. Your position in convoy determined by date of payment.
Tour starts at 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 will travel in a separate vehicle. We can communicate via cell phone app. Accommodation and meals are not included. This 1-day 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 $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.
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. You may also phone Stan Shadick at 306-652-5975.
2022 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.