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Snowy Owls near Saskatoon, Canada
Each winter many Snowy Owls migrate south to spend their winter on the Canadian prairies. The Saskatoon region is situated near the center of the winter range for Snowy Owls in North America. Snowy Owl experts tell us that our region has the highest concentration of wintering Snowy Owls anywhere in the world making it an ideal location for Snowy Owl Photography.
Snowy Owl Photography Workshops
Year-end Workshop Dates: December 29 - 31, 2023
February Break Workshop Dates: February 17 - 19, 2024
- December 31, 2023 - January 1, 2024
- February 19 - 20, 2024
Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Workshop Hotel: TBA
Hotel booking information will be sent to registered participants.
Snowy Owl Photography Workshop Instructor: Boyd Coburn
Host: Stan Shadick
Registration Limit: 5 Participants
Early Booking Recommended
- 1 Full Day - Snowy Owl Photography Session
- 1 Late Afternoon - Snowy Owl Photography Session
- 1 Morning Snowy Owl Photography Session
- Hands-on Camera Settings Help during all Photography Sessions
- 2 Indoor Snowy Owl Photography Editing Session
- Optional Post Workshop 2-day Great Gray Owl and Northern Hawk Owl Photography Tour
- Both novice and experienced bird photographers are welcome.
- Carpooling will be encouraged at the start of each outdoor event.
- Partial Tax Receipt (50%) will be given to all registrants. (The leaders volunteer their time so that all proceeds support Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation charity).
What to Bring
- Participants should bring a digital camera with both long and short focal lengths.
- Participants should bring a laptop computer equipped with their favourite photographic editing software.
- You need to plan to drive your own personal or rented vehicle to and from locations where we will be photographing and viewing cranes. Winter tires recommended.
- Bring good a winter parka, long windproof pants, long underwear, winter hat and gloves.
Snowy Owl Photography Workshop Itinerary
DAY 1: Friday, December 29, 2023 / Saturday February 17, 2024
2:00 PM - 2:15 PM Snowy Owl Photography Workshop Welcome and Overview
2:15 PM - 6:00 PM Snowy Owl Photography Session 1
The Snowy Owl Photography workshop begins with a driving tour to view and photograph any Snowy Owls at one regular wintering area near Saskatoon. We normally find between 3 and 10 owls in this area.
Carpooling is encouraged. Return driving distance should be less than 100 km.
You should have breakfast before we depart and/or bring food with you for this tour.
6:00 PM - 6:30 PM Hotel Check-In
6:30 PM - 9:30 PM Snowy Owl Photography Indoor Editing Session 1
We plan to reserve our own room at a restaurant where we can order food for supper while we download and discuss processing and editing of our first set of images.
DAY 2: Saturday, December 30, 2023 / Sunday, February 18, 2024
7:30 AM - 6:30 PM Snowy Owl Photography Session 2
Following breakfast, your instructor will guide you to the heart of the winter distribution of Snowy Owls in Saskatchewan. We hope to find and photograph more than 10 owls on this full-day driving session. We will stop at a small town restaurant for lunch. Return driving distance should be about 400 km.
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM Snowy Owl Photography Indoor Editing Session 2
We again plan to reserve our own room at a restaurant where we can order food for supper while we download and discuss processing and editing of our second set of images.
DAY 3: Sunday, December 31, 2023 / Monday, February 19, 2024
7:30 AM - 10:00 AM Snowy Owl Photography Session 3
Your instructor will guide you to another location where some Snowy Owls may be wintering near Saskatoon.
Return driving distance should be less than 100 km.
10:00 AM Snowy Owl Photography Workshop Ends
Participants may return to their hotel in preparation for departure home or plan to continue north on the optional post-workshop tour in search of other owls if they have pre-registered for it.
Post Workshop Event
DAY 1: Sunday, December 31, 2023 / Monday, February 19, 2024
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM Post Workshop Great Gray Owl and Northern Hawk Owl Photography Workshop
You may optionally plan to join a group convoy on a special 2-day driving tour to Saskatchewan's boreal forests. Here we will drive some back roads in search of Great Gray Owls and Northern Hawk Owls.
Hotel accommodation information in the Prince Albert area will be sent to registered participants.
Return driving distance should be roughly 700 km.
Leadership Fee for Northern Hawk Owl and Great Gray Owl Quest Tour is $1490 per person.
DAY 2: Monday, January 1, 2024 / Tuesday, February 20, 2024
8:00 AM - 9:00 PM Great Gray Owl and Northern Hawk Owl Photography Workshop
We will continue driving back roads in the boreal forest in search of Great Gray and Northern Hawk Owls.
Lund in the field.
Supper at a restaurant in the city of Prince Albert.
Drive back to Saskatoon in the evening.
CLICK HERE for details of the Great Gray Owl and Northern Hawk Owl
Questions: please email questions to email@example.com and include your phone number and times when you may be contacted.
How to get to Saskatoon
Air: Saskatoon International Airport (YXE) is served by Flair, Air Canada, Westjet and their U.S. partners United and Delta.
Air Canada Star Alliance partners also include Aegean, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana, Austrian, Avianca, Brussels, Copa, Croatia, EgyptAir, Ethiopian, EVA, Lot, Lufthansa, SAS, Shenzhen, Singapore, South African, Swiss, TAP, Thai, Turkish, United.
Westjet international partners include AeroMexico, Air France, Air Transat, Azores, Cathay Pacific, China, China Eastern, China Southern, Delta, Emirates, Hainan, Hong Kong, Japan, KLM, Korean, LATAM, Philippine, Quantas, Virgin Atlantic, Xiamen.
Train: Saskatoon's Train Station is served by Via Rail's Canadian train serving Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Jasper and Vancouver.
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.
CLICK HERE for government regulations for entering Canada.
The previous Covid vaccine requirements have been eliminated.
There are no significant delays at the border provided they have fully completed the ArriveCan app in advance.
Snowy Owl Photography Instructor: Boyd Coburn
Boyd Coburn has over 30 years experience as a wildlife photographer in Saskatchewan. He is knowledgeable about operating cameras and processing and editing images. He claims he is always learning new techniques for imaging and post processing.
Boyd has a keen eye to find wildlife and the patience required to wait for the best opportunities for photography. He is passionate about being ethical when interacting with wildlife and their natural environment. He enjoys nature and is always looking for those uncommon birds and mammals that we don't often see.
His approach to bird photography: "It is not always about getting the shot though, sometimes you miss the shot but get a spectacular experience."
CLICK HERE to see some of Boyd Coburn's images.
Snowy Owl Photography Workshop Host: Stan Shadick
Host: Your Snowy Owl Photography Workshop host has many years of experience finding and observing birds throughout Saskatchewan. For over 30 years, Stan Shadick has been a birding guide for nature tours and bird photography tours around Saskatchewan and other parts of the country that have been organized by Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation, Nature Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan Extension Division.
Stan is a past president of Nature Saskatchewan as well as a past president and current field trip chairman for the Saskatoon Nature Society. He is a co-editor of the reference publication “Birds of the Saskatoon Area” and contributed significantly to the recently published “Birds of Saskatchewan”.
Stan regularly contributes sightings to e-bird and currently holds the e-bird record for the most bird species seen in Saskatchewan.
Fees for Snowy Owl Photography Workshops and Photography Sessions.
FEE for 3-day Snowy Owl Photography Workshop: CAD $1490 per person (about US $1100 £870).
Fee includes only leadership services. Clients must cover transportation costs in their personal or rented vehicle. Guide will travel in a separate vehicle. or ride in your vehicle, if your prefer. We can communicate via hands-fee cell phone when driving. Accommodation, transportation and meals are not included.
FEE for 2-day Post Workshop Northern Hawk Owl and Great Gray Owl Quest Photographic Tour: CAD $1490 per person (about US $1100, £870). Fee includes only guiding services of leader and shared use of spotting scope. Clients must cover transportation costs in their personal or rented vehicle. Guide will travel in a separate vehicle. or ride in your vehicle, if your prefer. We can communicate via hands-fee cell phone. Accommodation, transportation and meals are not included.
CANCELLATION POLICY: Refunds less a $50 administration fee will be given if cancellation notice received 60 days before date of this Snowy Owl Photography Workshop.
No refunds if cancellation notice received less than 60 days before date of tour unless another client takes your place.
TAX RECEIPT: A tax receipt for 50% of the tour fee will be issued to the person paying for the Snowy Owl Photography Workshop.
All guiding fee proceeds will be donated to Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation.
Why book this Snowy Owl Photography Workshop with us?
- LOCAL EXPERIENCE. Your guides have over 50 years experience in observing and photographing birds in Saskatchewan. Although owls often move to different locations in different years, they will lead you to the best spots to photograph them.
- ETHICS. We do NOT bait owls.
Your guide will show you how to use special techniques to observe and photograph nearby Snowy Owls responsibly without disturbing these birds. A spotting scope may be used to observe birds that are far away from the vehicle.
- LEARN ID TIPS. You can learn how to use field marks and sounds to identify the cranes, swans, geese (up to 5 species), ducks, grebes, eagles and other raptors plus many songbirds. Your guide will take you to the best locations for finding these species during this event.
- BEST VEHICLE FOR OBSERVING. We believe that your personal or rented vehicle will usually provide a better observing and photography experience than the crowded expensive vans offered by some out-of-province companies. Often dark tinted van windows cannot be rolled down to provide optimal conditions for viewing and photography.
- WILDLIFE CHARITY. Because your Snowy Owl Photography Workshop leaders volunteer their time, all of your fees are used by our local wildlife rehabilitation center to help pay the cost of food, medicine and hiring of summer students needed to care for injured birds and small mammals harmed by human activities.
- TAX RECEIPTS. You will receive a tax receipt for 50% of the fees.
What to Wear
What to Wear. Wear winter hat, winter coat, warm pants and long underwear and winter snow boots.
What to Bring
Bring your cameras and tripod. Binoculars and a scope (optional).
Participants on this Snowy Owl Photography Workshop need to drive their own personal or rented vehicle. RVs and vehicles pulling trailers are not recommended. Owners of full electric vehicles should phone 306-652-5975 to discuss whether their range is sufficient for these tours. The driving distance may be about 500 km for full day Owl Photography session and less than 100 km for half-day Snowy Owl Photography Sessions. Round Trip driving distance for the post conference Northern Hawk Owl and Great Gray Owl photography tour to northern Saskatchewan will be about 450 km. EV charging stations are available at several Saskatoon locations.
If you would like to share your vehicle with other participants then complete the Carpooling Section of the Registration Request Form below or email the workshop name, your name, phone number and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org
Snowy Owl Workshop Registration Form
Other Bird Photography Sessions
- Dancing Grouse Photography Sessions
April - May
- Great Gray Owl and Northern Hawk Owl Photography Workshop
December 31, 2023 - January 1, 2024
- Great Gray Owl and Northern Hawk Owl Photography Sessions
January - early March
- Goose Lake Photography Tour
- Pelican Photography and Viewing Tour
Special Group Tour: September 3
- Sandhill Crane Photography Sessions
- Sandhill Crane Photography Workshop
October 7 - 9, 2023
- Snowy Owl Photography Sessions
January - March
Fall Birdwatching Tours
- Warbler Walking Tour
- Whooping Crane and Sandhill Crane Birding Tours - 8 hours
Budget Group Whooping Crane Tour: October 1, 2023
- Prairie Lakes Birding Tour - 4 hours
- Chief Whitecap Park Birding Tour (early September)
- Prince Albert National Park Birding Tour
Other Birding Tours
Learn about special offers and new tours.
CLICK HERE to sign up for the monthly electronic Newsletter from Saskatoon Custom Bird Tours.
Saskatchewan Owl Tours