Whooping and Sandhill Crane Viewing Tours

Late September - Mid October 2020

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. For many years we 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, there were several flocks totaling over 100 individuals. As local birders, we know the best historical places to search for these spectacular birds.

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 21 individuals but now exceeds 500 birds.

In 2020, we are planning both 1-day and 2-day custom tours from late 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 - 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 and songbirds.

  1. Clients must drive themselves in their own personal or rented vehicle. The leader will drive in a separate vehicle. We will use cell phones or radios to communicate between each other during the tour.
  2. Tour will be rescheduled at no additional cost or refunded  if either the leader or any of the clients show any signs of illness (coughing, sneezing, sore throat, etc.).
  3. At birding stops and trail hikes, the leader will follow safe physical distancing practices by maintaining a minimum distance of 2 meters from the clients.

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).

TOUR FEE for 2-day tour excluding transportation: CAD $1330 (about US $995)
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 a personal or rented vehicle. Guide will travel in a separate vehicle. We can communicate via cell phone. Accommodation and meals are not included.. Email birdtours@sasktel.net for information about payment options. We will stop to pick up food for lunch.

TOUR FEE for 1-day tour excluding transportation:  CAD $690 (about US $515)
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 a 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.

For payment options, email: birdtours@sasktel.net and provide names of clients, their addresses and requested type of tour and tour date. Full payment due at time of booking.

Cancellation Policy: Refunds less a $100 administration fee will be given if cancellation notice received 60 days before date of tour. All guiding fee proceeds will be donated to Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation.

Whoopers and Sandhills

Whoopers and Sandhills

Whooping Cranes flying above Sandhill Cranes
by Nick Saunders
nicksaundersnature.com

Whooping Cranes in grain field

Whooping Cranes in grain field

Whooping Cranes
by Nick Saunders
nicksaundersnature.com

Large flock of Whoopers

Large flock of Whoopers

Part of a flock of 154 Whooping Cranes photographed by Bob Godwin.

Snow Geese flock

Snow Geese flock

Snow Geese by Bob Godwin.