Alberta Birds & Dinosaurs

  1. 2018
    Saturday, May 26, 2018 to Wednesday, May 30, 2018
    Tour Duration: 
    5 days
    Tour Price:
     $1,475 CAD, $1,225 USD
    Single Supplement:
     $295 CAD, $245 USD
    Tour Starts/Ends: 
    Calgary, Alberta
    + 5% GST for Canadians, + 2.5% GST for non-Canadians, save $100/$175 (double/single occupancy) if you combine this with our Canadian Rockies tour.
    Number of Persons Limit: 
    12
Highlights

• Fine selection of prairie birds and mammals

• In-depth exploration of the unique geologic and palaeontological history of the Alberta badlands

• Visits to Dinosaur Provincial Park and the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology

 

Overview

Amazing landscapes, great birds, and one of the richest dinosaur fossil sites in the world- join us on an amazing tour to the badlands of Alberta! The bulk of our days will be spent exploring the Red Deer River Valley badlands and adjacent prairies around Drumheller and Dinosaur Provincial Park. Breeding season will be in full swing in this amazing region of central Alberta, and birding will be the focus each morning. We will explore several unique habitats including Prairie sloughs, riparian Cottonwood forests, and the desert-like conditions of the badlands. Our afternoons will be spent learning about the unique geology and natural history of the region at Dinosaur Provincial Park and the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology.

Combine this tour with our Canadian Rockies birding tour.

Itinerary View Short Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival in Calgary

Participants will be arriving in Calgary throughout the day for our Alberta birding tour. For those arriving early, there are opportunities for birding in and around Calgary. The Inglewood Bird Sanctuary along the Bow River is an excellent area for foothills and riverine species, and is easily accessible within the city of Calgary. Alternately, there are some great museums worth visiting in the city. We meet in the evening at our hotel for a get-together and a discussion of the next day’s activities. Night in Calgary.

Day 2 – Prairie Sloughs and the Drumheller Badlands

After breakfast we head east along the Trans-Canada Highway and onto the open short-grass plains characteristic of southeastern Alberta. Along the drive we pass some very rich wetlands that host up to 15 species of waterfowl including Cinnamon Teal. Other targets in this area include Horned and Eared grebes, foraging Black Terns, and several shorebirds including Wilson’s Phalarope, American Avocet, Willet and a few Black-necked Stilt feeding along the shoreline. After we’ve explored this rich birding area we will continue on our way east to the town of Drumheller in the badlands of the upper Red Deer River Valley.

After a picnic lunch, we spend the afternoon exploring the valley with its canyons, hoodoos, and considerable geologic history. In the late afternoon, we arrive at our hotel in Drumheller, where we spend the next two nights.

Day 3 – Grassland Birds and Dinosaur Provincial Park

After an early breakfast, we head southeast through short-grass prairies toward picturesque Dinosaur Provincial Park. En route to the park we will make several stops looking for Sprague’s Pipits, Chesnut-collared Longspurs, Long-billed Curlews, and Pronghorns. The extensive badlands within the park are home to Say’s Phoebes, Rock Wrens, Lark Sparrows, Prairie Falcons, Mountain Bluebirds, and a small population of Violet-green Swallows. In the sagebrush at Dinosaur PP there are Brewer's Sparrows along with oodles of Clay-colored Sparrows. Other goodies we might find today include Yellow-breasted Chat and Brown Thrasher in the riparian scrub, along with Loggerhead Shrike and even Eurasian Collared-Dove just outside the park.

After a picnic lunch, we will take time to explore the visitor centre and learn more about the wealth of dinosaur fossils within this UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will return to our hotel in Drumheller late in the day.

Day 4 – Drumheller and the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology

Today we spend the bulk of our day in and around Drumheller. After breakfast we look for forest birds in the riparian Cottonwoods of McMullen Island Provincial Park where we should find Red-naped Sapsucker, Western Wood-Pewee, and perhaps some late migrants. From here we make our way to the world-renowned Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, where we will spend several hours exploring the exhibits. In the afternoon we will head west toward Calgary, stopping at Horseshoe Canyon en route. Night in Calgary.

Day 5 - Departure

Our Alberta birding tour ends today. If you are carrying on to our Canadian Rockies birding tour, you will head west to the Rockies today. If not, you can depart for flights home anytime today.

 

Map
Featured Wildlife
Past Tour Checklists
Reviews

"I am speechless trying to describe this trip to family and friends. Fabulous and winning combination!!  Who better to show off this part of Canada than Jody with his favourite birding spots and experience growing up in Drumheller and connections at Tyrell and hands-on intimate familiarity with Horsethief Canyon." - 2015

"5/5 stars.  One of the best aspects was the spectacular scenery of the Alberta Badlands and the ability to actually access the canyons.  I enjoyed walking on the paths and seeing rocks, plants, birds and animals up close and breathing the wonderfully aromatic air.  Another bonus was that Jody was so familiar with the bird life and habitat plus geology, dinosaurs, etc." MH 2015