28 Great Birdwatching Tours and Workshops from Saskatoon Custom Bird Tours

Saskatoon Custom Birdwatching Tours

Wonder where are the best hot spots to go birding in Saskatchewan Canada?

NEWS FLASH: WHOOPING CRANES ARE HERE

We currently have about 90 Whooping Cranes in our area.

We offer private and group guided birdwatching tours out of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Some of our special tours include viewing dancing grouse (spring), prairie birds (summer), Whooping Cranes (fall), Snowy Owls (winter). Custom tours and zoom-based bird ID workshops available.

Our birdwatching tours and workshops are excellent Mother's Day gifts; Father's Day gifts; birthday gifts, graduation gifts, anniversary gifts and special gifts for birders, birdwatchers or anyone interested in birds and nature.

OCTOBER BIRDWATCHING TOURS

NOVEMBER - MARCH BIRDWATCHING TOURS

APRIL - MAY BIRDWATCHING TOURS

GIFT CERTIFICATES

Click here for information about gift certificates for any of our 2021 or 2022 tours.

New Bookings Discount currently available until September 15, 2021.  Click here for details.

Scroll Down to view our full list of upcoming tours including our popular fall Whooping Crane tour and custom tours.
All proceeds support the work of Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation.

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

TESTIMONIALS ABOUT OUR BIRDWATCHING TOURS.

CLICK to listen to Calgary Naturalist Brian Keating on CBC Calgary Radio giving an on-air review of a tour he booked with us.

Canadian Geographic Article. Click Here.

Global TV News Report: Click Here.

"I drove to Saskatoon and met Stan Shadick who arranged for me to observe lekking Sharp-tailed Grouse. Stan set up a blind for me, enabling me to take photos in the early morning hours (04:10 to 08:00, Wednesday, May 5). It was a birding thrill for the year. " (L. Corkum)

That was such a great trip!  Thanks so much for the use of the blind and sharing your general knowledge and expertise. (J. Lee)

"We really appreciated your tour last Wednesday; [Our young grandson] loved it!! He also told us he learned alot.  I believe you have inspired him to continue his passion of birding.  Thanks again for the wonderful guiding! (D. Dear)

GIFT CERTIFICATE OPTION.

Saskatoon is located where two major North American bird flyways meet making it ideal for birdwatching tours. During the breeding season in June and July about 150 bird species occur within grassland, wetland and woodland habitats. This list is augmented during the migration months of May, August and September when boreal and arctic nesting warblers, flycatchers, vireos and shorebirds are plentiful.

Elegant and endangered Whooping Cranes, North America’s tallest bird, are regularly seen from mid-September through mid-October.

 

EMAIL birdtours@sasktel.net to book a tour, to order a gift certificate or with any questions.
Please include your name and a contact phone number and other pertinent information.


Whooping and Sandhill Crane Viewing Tours

See Canada's most majestic bird. In recent years, the 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.

In 2018, we found a single flock in excess of 150 whoopers! In 2019 and 2020, we observed several flocks totaling over 80 individuals. As local birders, we know the best historical places to take our birdwatching tours in search of these spectacular birds. Fees: $690 per group.


Mid September - Late October

Whooping Crane - Photo by Bruce Acton

See our Whooping and Sandhill Crane Tour page for booking and tour details.


Dancing Grouse Tour

Join our experienced local birding guide for a 4-hour early morning or evening self-driving birdwatching tour to view the spectacle of dancing Sharp-tailed Grouse at a roadside lek outside Saskatoon. Listen to the excitement of the sounds and dance moves of Saskatchewan's original dancers. Many of the traditional indigenous dances were inspired by this display. Fees: $325 per group.


April and May

Sharp-tailed Grouse Dancing by Nick Saunders

See our Dancing Grouse Tour page for booking and tour details.


Beaver Creek Birding and Hiking Tour

Beaver Creek is an attractive bird-rich wooded valley next to grasslands with several walking trails. Here this creek flows into the South Saskatchewan River. Many native wildflowers may be found blooming here in summer. An indoor interpretive centre on site has displays and washrooms with running water.

During guided birdwatching tours, we usually select the trail with the best variety of songbirds. The trails are relatively flat with stairs provided in the steeper portions.

During spring and summer months from mid-May through early-September over 60 species have been found at this location. Additional migrating songbirds may be seen in late May and late August / early September.


Late May to Early September

Belted Kingfisher by Nick Saunders

See our Beaver Creek Tour page for booking and tour details.


Bald Eagle Viewing Tour

See eagles perching in a  tree like Christmas decorations! Join Stan Shadick for a 5-hour private self-driving birdwatching tour from Saskatoon to view a location where many Bald Eagles congregate before migrating south.  We should also see many kinds of ducks and other water birds. Fees: $490 per group.


November 10 - December 13

Bald Eagle photo by Nick Saunders

See our Bald Eagle Tour page for booking and tour details.


Prairie Lakes Birding Tour

Ducks galore! Watch the mating antics of male ducks in spring or cute families of ducklings later in summer. Join our experienced local birding guide for a 4 hour self-driving birdwatching tour to visit some of the best bird-rich lakes in the Saskatoon region. Visit deep lakes for diving ducks and pelicans. Also visit shallow ponds for viewing dabbling ducks and grebes. Listen to the varied musical offerings of wetland sparrows, rails and other marsh songbirds. Fees: $295 per group.


Half Day Tours from Mid-April to October

Ruddy Duck by Nick Saunders

See our Prairie Lakes Tour page for booking and tour details.


Snowy Owl Tour

See the white ghosts of winter!

Join our experienced local birding guide for a drive through a rural farming district reputed by owl experts to have the highest concentration of wintering Snowy Owls in the world!

We may also choose to visit the best hangout for wintering ducks and geese and Bald Eagles in the province.

Other possible birds to be seen during our birdwatching tour include Golden Eagle, Gyrfalcon, Prairie Falcon, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Gray Partridge, Snow Bunting, Common Redpoll, Common Raven, Bohemian Waxwing, Black-billed Magpie. Fees: $690 per group.


December, January, February and March.

Snowy Owl - photo by Nick Saunders

See our Snowy Owl Tour page for booking and tour details.


Forest Winter Private Birding Tour

Extended Full Day Private Birdwatching Tour to Prince Albert National Park and Area.

Good opportunities for bird photography!

Join our experienced local birding guide for an Extended Full Day Drive to Boreal Forest habitat in Prince Albert National Park and adjacent areas. Visit best areas for finding and observing majestic Great Gray Owls and fearless Northern Hawk Owls. See Pine Grosbeaks, Redpolls and other winter finches. Fees: $790 per group.

 

 


November through April

Great Gray Owl by Nick Saunders

See our Forest Winter Tour page for booking and tour details.


Wild Raptor Tour

Join local birding expert Stan Shadick for a 2-hour guided self-drive birdwatching tour in search of buteos, eagles, accipiters, harriers, falcons and other wild raptors near Saskatoon.


Next 2-hour tour: Sunday, September 12

Swainson's Hawk
Swainson's Hawk
by Nick Saunders

See our Wild Raptor Tour for booking and tour details.


Last Mountain Lake Bird Sanctuary Tour

Visit the First National Bird Sanctuary to be established in North America!

Ducks galore! Watch the mating antics of male ducks in spring or cute families of ducklings later in summer. Join our experienced local birding guide for a full day (8-hour) drive to visit the birding hotspots at Last Mountain Lake.  An optional 3-hour evening extension is possible.

See unique grassland and wetland birds during this birdwatching tour. Visit deep lakes for diving ducks and pelicans. Also visit shallow ponds for viewing dabbling ducks and grebes. Listen to the varied musical offerings of wetland sparrows, rails and other marsh songbirds. Fees: $590 - $780 per group.


Extended Full Day Tours from Mid-April to October

Marbled Godwit
by Nick Saunders

See our Last Mountain Lake Bird Sanctuary Tour page for booking and tour details.


Sunday Morning Guided Bird Walk

Join local birding expert Stan Shadick for a 2-hour guided walking birdwatching tour.


Next 2-hour tour: September 5

Brown Thrasher
by Nick Saunders

See our Sunday Morning Guided Bird Walk for booking and tour details.


Porter Lake Birding Tour

Self-Drive Birdwatching Tour

Experience the sights and sounds of nesting colonies of Black-crowned Night Herons, Double-crested Cormorants and Bank Swallows. View numerous ducks, grebes and prairie songbirds this 3-hour birdwatching tour.

During spring and summer months from April through early September over 120 species have been found at this location. Additional migrating songbirds may be seen in late May and late August / early September. Fees: $190 per group.


3-hour Tour April to Early September

Black-crowned Night Heron
by Nick Saunders

See our Porter Lake Tour page for booking and tour details.


Camp Wolf Willow Birding Tours

Experience the sounds and sights of birdlife in a prairie wilderness on this scenic birdwatching tour. Camp Wolf Willow is a natural oasis situated on the east bank of the beautiful South Saskatchewan River valley south of Saskatoon. This private site has a grassy coulee with a small stream plus a wooded valley offering several km of hiking trails. Beavers have dammed the stream where it enters the river creating a bird-rich wetland. The camp has its own private beach and winery. Fees: $190 per group.


Saturday, September 18, 2021

Camp Wolf Willow

See our Camp Wolf Tour page for booking and tour details.


Chaplin Shorebirds Tour

Shorebirds galore! Extended 12 hour birdwatching tour from Saskatoon visiting the best shorebird habitats in Saskatchewan at Chaplin Shorebird Reserve and other nearby hotspots.

Endangered Piping Plovers are often found here. Other shorebirds often include Red Knot, Sanderling, Wilson’s Phalarope, Red-necked Phalarope, American Avocet, Black-necked Stilt, Marbled Godwit, Hudsonian Godwit, Stilt Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Baird’s Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Lesser Yellowlegs, Willet, Solitary Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper, Black-bellied Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer. Fees: $690 per group.


Extended Full Day Tour from mid May – August

Piping Plover by Nick Saunders

See our Chaplin Shorebirds Tour page for booking and tour details.


Chickadee Feeding Tour

HALF Day Private and Group Tours. Let our experienced birding guide show you the best winter bird-rich locations near Saskatoon.

Chickadees will feed out of your hand! Marvel at the fearlessness of these tiny birds as they boldly fly to your hand for food. Sometimes nuthatches and downy woodpeckers will as well. Sunflower seeds provided. Very popular activity for kids and grand-parents!

Possible birds to be seen during this birdwatching tour include Ruffed Grouse, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Pileated Woodpecker, Great Horned Owl, Hairy Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Black-capped Chickadee, Blue Jay, Northern Shrike, White-breasted Nuthatch, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Bohemian Waxwing, Pine Grosbeak,  Common Redpoll, Black-billed Magpie, Common Raven. Fees: $190 per group.


November through April

Black-capped Chickadee - photo by Nick Saunders


See our Chickadee Feeding Tour page for booking and tour details.


Saskatoon Winter Birdwatching Tour

Hike through the best bird-rich city parks with our experienced local guide looking for winter's colourful songbirds such as woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees, jays, crossbills, finches and Bohemian Waxwings. Sometimes we are treated to flocks of hundreds of flying waxwings fill Saskatoon's living skies.

Visit best hangouts for wintering ducks and geese during this birdwatching tour.

Optional visits to Wanuskewin Park, Zoo, Museum of Natural Sciences and Diefenbaker Canada Centre.

Half and Full Day Private Tours available. Fees: $190 - $340per group.


November 2020 through April 2021

Bohemian Waxwing by Nick Saunders

See our Saskatoon Winter Tour page for booking and tour details.


Prairie Grasslands Birding Tour

Listen to the sweet songs of Western Meadowlark, Sprague's Pipit and Baird's Sparrow. Watch for Long-billed Curlew and Swainson's Hawk. Join our experienced local birding guide for a 8 hour self-drive birdwatching tour visiting the best prairie grassland birding habitats in the Saskatoon region. Fees: $690 per group.


Late April – July

Western Meadowlark by Nick Saunders

See our Prairie Grasslands Tour page for booking and tour details.


Cypress Hills Group Birding Tour

See the birdlife of Saskatchewan birder's favourite birding region. Join a small group of birders on a 5-day / 4-night guided birdwatching tour to the Cypress Hills region of SW Saskatchewan.

Some of the special unique birds of this region include MacGillivray's Warbler, Dusky Flycatcher, Red-naped Sapsucker, Poorwill, Pacific Wren, Violet-Green Swallow. We also look for rare Cordilleran Flycatcher and Bullock's Oriole found in the park in 2020. We plan to visit the west, central and east blocks of this birding hotspot.


Proposed Dates: June, 2022

Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park Trails

See our Cypress Hills Tour page for booking and tour details.


Quill Lakes Birding Tour

Visit the multitude of birds at Canada's largest salt water lake on this birdwatching tour.

Birds galore! The Quill Lakes region is the best place in Saskatchewan for observing Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons and Black-crowned Night Herons.

During the peak of the shorebird migration, about 200 thousand individuals have been counted in a single day! During this time, several percent of the world populations of White-rumped, Baird’s, Least and Stilt Sandpipers occur here along with significant numbers of Hudsonian Godwits, dowitchers and American Avocets.  Fees: $590 - $780 per group.


Full Day Tours from Mid-April to August

Black-crowned Night Heron
by Nick Saunders

See our Quill Lakes Birding Tour page for booking and tour details.


Signs of Spring Birding Tour

Spring in the Prairies, Comes like a Surprise!
(Connie Kaldor, Saskatchewan Song Writer)

Experience the sights and songs of birdlife during springtime on the prairies.

Join us for a 3-hour leisurely self-drive birdwatching tour along back roads near Saskatoon to look for newly arriving birds as they return to our area. Fees: $90 per person - $190 per group.


3 Hour Tours from April to May

Mountain Bluebird
by May Haga

See our Signs of Spring Birding Tour page for booking and tour details.


Chappell Marsh Birding and Hiking Tour

Experience prairie songbirds and water birds during a short 2-hour hike over prairie trails. Chappell Marsh Conservation Area contains a large pond surrounded by wolf willow and buffaloberry shrubs and grassland. It is located just outside Saskatoon's boundaries.  The level hiking trails offer good opportunities for observing a variety of songbirds and wildflowers during this birdwatching tour.

During spring and summer months from mid-May through early-September over 80 species have been found at this location. Additional migrating songbirds may be seen in late May and late August / early September. Fees: $130 per group.


2-hour Tour May to Early September

Northern Pintail
by Nick Saunders

See our Chappell Marsh Tour page for booking and tour details.


Greenwater Lake Birding Group Tour

Join a 3-day / 2-night guided birdwatching tour to visit Greenwater provincial park famous for its abundance of warblers, finches, flycatchers, woodpeckers and other forest songbirds. Saskatchewan's Greenwater Provincial Park is located in a mixed forested region about 270 km east of Saskatoon.

The lakes and wetlands within this park attract many water birds including various ducks, rails, herons and many duck species. A remote area in this park is well-known as a breeding site for Trumpeter Swans. We will keep our eyes peeled for this special bird on any of the park's accessible ponds.


Proposed Dates: Spring 2022

Blackburnian Warbler
by Nick Saunders

See our Greenwater Lake Tour page for booking and tour details.


Sounds of the Night Tour

Experience the variety of nature's sounds on a still dark night.

Join Stan Shadick as he leads a small group of nature enthusiasts on a night drive birdwatching tour along the backroads of Nisbet Forest near Duck Lake. We will make frequent stops near woods and ponds to listen for the hooting of Great Horned Owls and the whistles of Northern Saw-whet owls. We may also hear the drumming of a Ruffed Grouse or the whinny of a Wilson's Snipe. Other sounds might include the duck-like calls of Wood Frogs, the comb-like call of Boreal Chorus Frogs or the howling of a pack of coyotes. Who knows what other sounds we might discover! Fees: $50 per person - $85 per group in a single car.


Tentative Date: Friday, April 15, 2022

Great Horned Owl
by Jan Shadick

See our Sounds of the Night Tour page for booking and tour details.


Pelican Photography and Viewing Tour

Watch flying pelicans, which have the greatest wingspan of any Saskatchewan bird. Join Stan Shadick for a 7-hour self-driving birdwatching tour to view a location where hundreds of pelicans congregate before migrating south. We should also see many other kinds of ducks and other water birds. Round-trip driving distance about 300 km. This trip is ideal for photography of pelicans in flight. Fees: $590 per group.


Birding By Ear Workshops

Become a Better Birder. Expert birders identify most birds in any habitat using song identification. Some birds can only be safely identified by voice. You can learn to identify bird songs too!

Join in our spring series of sets of online plus optional outdoor workshop pairings designed to improve your skills at identification of common bird songs in Saskatoon's parks. Our workshops are arranged by habitat. Each series will focus on a small group of songbirds found in a given habitat at a particular time of year. For each set there will be one evening online session lasting about 1 hour followed by an optional 1-hour outdoor morning or evening field trip a day or 2 later. Fees: $35 - $95 per person.

SPRING 2022


Ovenbird singing by May Haga

See our Birding By Ear page for booking and workshop details.


Birding With A Purpose Workshops

Become a Citizen Scientist.

Learn how to make your personal observations, photos and/or audio recordings of birds contribute to our knowledge of their abundance and distribution. Online Workshop. Fees: $45 per person.


Fall Warbler ID Workshops

Become a Better Birder. During fall migration, warblers occur in a wide variety of colourful plumage patterns. You can learn to use field marks to identify warblers too!

Join in our series of workshops designed to improve your skills at identification of warblers and vireos in the Canadian Prairies or anywhere east of the Rocky Mountains. Our workshops are arranged by migration date. Each series will focus on a small group of warblers and vireos found at a particular time of year. For each set there will be one evening online session lasting about 1.5 hour. A Bonus optional outdoor morning field trip is available to birders visiting or residing in Saskatoon. Fees: $35 - $65 per person.


Warbler Walking Tour

View the huge variety of colourful patterns of Saskatchewan's warblers.  Join Stan Shadick for a 3-hour birdwatching tour through one of the best bird-rich city parks. We will walk and look for migrating warblers and other songbirds on this birdwatching tour. Your guide will help you find the field marks to identify them. Fees: $190 per group.

 


Custom Private Birding Tour

Want a guide for birding in other Saskatchewan localities?

Have a list of birds that you would like to see?

Hire Stan Shadick for your private escorted birdwatching tour. Rates are just $65 per hour and 50 cents per km.

Email your special requests to birdtours@sasktel.net and provide your name, contact information and preferred dates.

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


Year round Birdwatching Tours

Yellow-headed Blackbird
by Nick Saunders

Other websites that have generously advertised our birding tours.

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