Great Half-Day Tours for Birdwatching and Bird Photography in 2022 from Saskatoon Custom Bird Tours

Table of Contents

WHERE ARE BEST BIRDING TOURS NEAR SASKATOON, CANADA?

 

Half-Day Tours for Birding and Bird Photography

with Saskatoon Custom Bird Tours

We offer private and group guided birdwatching tours and bird photography tours out of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Custom tours and zoom-based bird ID workshops available.

Saskatoon is situated 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.

Our birdwatching half-day 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.

TOUR GUIDE

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

JUNE - AUGUST HALF-DAY TOURS FOR BIRDWATCHING AND BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER HALF-DAY BIRDWATCHING TOURS

NOVEMBER - MARCH HALF-DAY BIRDWATCHING AND BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY TOURS

TESTIMONIALS ABOUT OUR BIRDWATCHING HALF-DAY 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 CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE

These half-day tours makes an excellent birthday gift, anniversary gift, graduation gift or special gift for a birder, birdwatcher or anyone interested in nature.

Click here for information about gift certificates for any of our 2022 birding and bird photography tours.

Birdwatching tours

MULTIPLE TOURS DISCOUNT

Can't decide which half-day tour to take?

Check out our multiple tours discount described here.

QUESTIONS?

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

HOW TO GET TO SASKATOON

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

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.

ENTERING CANADA

CLICK HERE for government regulations for entering Canada.
My recent fully vaccinated international clients tell me there are no significant delays at the border provided they have fully completed the ArriveCan app in advance.

COVID SAFETY POLICY ON TOURS

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  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 or drive client's vehicle.

COMPLETE LIST OF BIRDING TOURS

Scroll Down to view our full list of upcoming half-day tours.
A complete list of all our tours is found here.
All proceeds support the work of Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation.

TOUR SUGGESTIONS REQUEST FORM

Send us your possible tour dates and we will get back to you with the best tour suggestions for that time period.

You may also list a landline or type NONE.

If you do not hear back from us within 24 hours, then please email: birdtours@sasktel.net or phone 306-652-5975.


Dancing Grouse Viewing and Photography Tours

Join our experienced local birding guide for a  3 or 4-hour early morning or late evening self-driving birdwatching tour to view the spectacle of dancing Sharp-tailed Grouse near 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. The birds are more active near sunrise than near sunset.

During the early morning photography half-day tour, you will drive onto a private pasture for a close-up view of the birds dancing near sunrise. You may view and photograph the performance from your high-clearance vehicle. One member of your group has the option of using our professional photography blind on site to obtain images of the dancing birds from a birds-eye level near the ground.
Total Driving Distance: 15 km from north end of Saskatoon.
Private Sunrise Bird Photography Tour Fee: $390 for your group of 1 - 4 persons in a single vehicle.

The evening driving tour will visit a location on a public road near sunset where you may view the birds as they arrive at their lek roughly 200 meters from the road. Binoculars recommended.
Total Driving Distance: 120 km from Saskatoon.
Private Sunset Bird Viewing Tour Fee: $290 for your group of 1 - 4 persons in a single vehicle.


April and May

Half-Day Tours

Sharp-tailed Grouse Dancing by Nick Saunders

See our Dancing Grouse 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 half-day tour along back roads near Saskatoon to look for newly arriving birds as they return to our area.

Total Driving Distance: 150 km
Fees: From $75 per person - $190 per group of 1 - 4 persons.


April to May

Half-Day Tours

Mountain Bluebird
by May Haga

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


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 online 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.

Useful for birding anywhere from Alberta to Ontario and adjacent states.

Fees: $35 - $95 per person.


 

May 2022

2-hour online workshops

Optional 1 hour outings

See our Birding by Ear online workshop page for booking and workshop details.


Saskatoon Birdwatching Half-Day Tour

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

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

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

Half Day and Full Day Private Tours available.

Driving Distance: 30 - 80 km
Fees: $190 - $340 per group of 1 - 4 persons in a single vehicle.


January through December

Half-Day Tours

Full-Day Tours

Bohemian Waxwing by Nick Saunders

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


Saskatoon Shorebirds Tour

Shorebirds! 3 hour birdwatching tour from Saskatoon visiting the best shorebird habitats near Saskatoon.

Shorebirds often include Sanderling, Wilson’s Phalarope, Red-necked Phalarope, American Avocet, 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.

Driving Distance: 150 km
Fees: $240 per group of 1 - 4 persons in a single vehicle


July - August

Half-Day Tours

Saskatoon Shorebird Tor
Willet displaying
by Burt Wang

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


Beaver Creek Birding and Hiking Half-Day 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 half-day 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.

Driving Distance: 45 km
Fee: $190 for groups of 1 - 4 persons


 

Late May to Early September

Half-Day Tours

Belted Kingfisher by Nick Saunders

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


Prairie Lakes Birding Half-Day 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.

Driving Distance: 200 km
Fees: $290 per group of 1 - 4 persons in a single vehicle.


 

Mid-April to October

Half-Day Tours

Ruddy Duck by Nick Saunders

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


Custom Bird Photography Half-Day Tours

Use our special 1-person professional Tragopan Hokki Version 3 photographic blind to obtain close up images and videos of birds at a wetland near Saskatoon.

3-hour custom tour from Saskatoon.

Driving Distance: 100 km
Fee: $190


Porter Lake Birding Tour

Guided Self-Drive Birdwatching Half-Day 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.

Driving Distance: 50 km
Fees: $190 per group.


April to Early September

Half-Day Tour

Black-crowned Night Heron
by Nick Saunders

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


Pike Lake Birding Tour

Guided Self-Drive Birdwatching Tour

Let our experienced birding guide show you the best bird-rich locations between Saskatoon and Pike Lake Provincial Park.  During this Pike Lake birding half-day tour, we will walk some trails and visit a variety of bird habitats.

During spring and summer months from April through early September over 200 species have been found at this location. Additional migrating songbirds may be seen in late May and late August / early September.

Round-trip Driving Distance: 100 km
Fees: $290 per group.


April to Early September
November and December

Half-Day Tour

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


Goose Lake Birding Tour

Guided Self-Drive Birdwatching Tour

Goose Lake is a bird oasis that attracts large numbers of water birds including many species of ducks, geese, grebes, shorebirds, herons.  Immense nesting colonies of Franklin's Gulls and Eared Grebes nest here regularly. Prairie nesting shorebirds such as willets, American Avocets, Killdeer and Wilson's Phalaropes are found throughout the spring and summer. Arctic-nesting plovers and sandpipers often appear in large numbers during May, July and August.

The surrounding pastures attract grassland birds including Western Meadowlarks, Sprague's Pipit,  Baird's Sparrow.  Sometimes,  lucky birders might find Long-billed Curlew or Black-necked Stilts or White-faced Ibis or egrets or a Peregrine Falcon.

Round-trip Driving Distance: 150 km
Fees: $290 per group.


Late April to Early September

Half-Day Tour

6-hour Bird Photography Tours also available using our professional blind.

Black-necked Stilt at Goose Lake
Black-necked Stilt
by May Haga

See our Goose Lake 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.

Driving Distance: 15 km
Fees: $130 per group of 1 - 4 persons.


May to Early September
Half-Day Tour

Northern Pintail
by Nick Saunders

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


Chief Whitecap Park Birding and Hiking Tour

Enjoy a 3-hour guided birding hike through the bird-rich moist woodland habitat of Chief Whitecap Park near Saskatoon, Canada. Your expert guide will identify the field marks of the wide variety of nesting and migratory songbirds.

During summer months from June through August over 100 species have been found at this location. Additional migrating songbirds may be seen in late May and late August / early September.

Driving Distance: 30 km
Fees: $190 per group of 1 - 4 persons.


May to mid September
Half-Day Tour

Veery
by Nick Saunders

See our Chief Whitecap Park Tour page for booking and tour details.


Donna Birkmaier and Hyde Parks Birding and Walking Tour

Enjoy a 3-hour guided birding hike through the bird-rich moist woodland habitat of Donna Birkmaier and Hyde Parks in Saskatoon, Canada. Your expert guide will identify the field marks of the wide variety of nesting and migratory songbirds and waterbirds.

During summer months from June through August over 80 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.


May to mid September
Half-Day Tour

Brown Thrasher
by Nick Saunders

See our Donna Birkmaier and Hyde Parks Tour page for booking and tour details.


Weir Birding and Walking Tour

Obtain close-up views of water birds swimming on the river near Saskatoon's weir during a 2-hour birding tour. Then take a walk along the riverbank trails where your guide will identify a variety of songbirds.

During summer months from June through August over 90 species have been found at this location. Other waterfowl seen during migration and winter seasons.

Driving Distance: 2 km from downtown
Fees: $130 per group.


November to mid-September
Half-Day Tour

See our Weir 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: $290 per group of 1 - 4 persons in a single vehicle.


July - September
Half-Day Tours

Camp Wolf Willow

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


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.

Driving Distance: 10 km from downtown Saskatoon
Fees: $190 per group.

 


Sunday Morning Guided Bird Walk

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

Distance: 15 km
Fee: TBA


May - August
Half-Day Tours
Next 2-hour tour: To Be Announced

Brown Thrasher
by Nick Saunders

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


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.


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: To Be Announced

Swainson's Hawk
Swainson's Hawk
by Nick Saunders

See our Wild Raptor Tour 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.


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.

Driving Distance: 90 km
Fees: $190 per groups of 1 - 4 persons in a single vehicle.


 

November through April

Half-Day Tours

Black-capped Chickadee - photo by Nick Saunders


See our Chickadee Feeding 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.

Half-Day Private Tours
Total Driving Distance: 150 km
Fees: $390 per group of 1 - 4 persons.

Full-Day Private Tours
Total Driving Distance: 400 km
Fees: $690 per group of 1 - 4 persons

 


December, January, February and March.

Half-Day Tours

Full-Day Tours

Snowy Owl - photo by Nick Saunders

See our Snowy Owl 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 an April 15 night drive birdwatching tour along the backroads of Nisbet Forest near Duck Lake. During this half-day tour, 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!

Private tours also available on other dates.

Driving Distance: 90 - 280 km.

Private Tour Fees: From $190 per group of 1 - 4 persons in a single car.

April 15 Group Tour Fee: $95 per group of 1 - 4 persons in a single car.


March 25 - April 30

Half-Day Tours

Tentative Special Group Tour Date: Friday, April 15, 2022

 

Great Horned Owl
by Jan Shadick

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


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.