Manitoba Owls

  1. 2018
    Wednesday, March 7, 2018 to Sunday, March 11, 2018
    Tour Duration: 
    5 days
    Tour Price:
     $1,250 CAD, $1,060 USD
    Single Supplement:
     $295 CAD, $250 USD
    Tour Starts/Ends: 
    Winnipeg
    + 5% GST for Canadians, + 2.5% GST for non-Canadians. March 7 tour is full, March 11 tour is available.
    Number of Persons Limit: 
    12
  2. 2018
    Sunday, March 11, 2018 to Thursday, March 15, 2018
    Tour Duration: 
    5 days
    Tour Price:
     $1,250 CAD, $1,060 USD
    Single Supplement:
     $295 CAD, $250 USD
Highlights

• Excellent chance for observing several species of Northern boreal forest owls, some very close

• Several Boreal Forest species will be encountered

 

 

Overview

Southeastern Manitoba has become one of the premier locations on the continent for locating northern boreal forest owls. The list of owls present during most winters is very impressive; Great Gray, Great Horned, Snowy and Northern Hawk-owl, with always a possibility of Eastern Screech-owl, Short-eared Owl and Northern Saw-whet Owl. Numbers of each species fluctuate from year to year, but March is a very good time to be searching for several of these owls as courtship is beginning and the pairs can be very vocal on still nights.

Our leader on our Manitoba Owls birding tour, Rudolf, is a local naturalist who will have a very good handle on where each species can be found. In some years, the numbers of owls can be quite amazing. Other boreal species could also be present, including Sharp-tailed Grouse, Spruce Grouse and Black-backed Woodpecker. Songbirds include Boreal Chickadee, Gray Jay, Evening Grosbeak, redpolls and crossbills.

 

Itinerary View Short Itinerary

Please note that the following is our intended itinerary, but we may adjust it from year to year to optimize our opportunities for owl sightings on our Manitoba Owls birding tour.

Day 1 - Arrival in Winnipeg

Participants will be arriving in Winnipeg throughout the day. For those that arrive early enough, there are opportunities for birding on your own in and around Winnipeg. Alternatively, there are some great museums worth visiting in the city. We meet in the evening at our hotel for a get-together and to discuss the plan for the days ahead based on the weather and the latest sightings. Night in Winnipeg near the airport.

Day 2 - Winnipeg/ Lac du Bonnet / Riding Mountain National Park

After breakfast we leave the hotel. Where we go depends upon where the most reliable locations are for finding our target owls. We may head north and west of the city to look for Snowy Owls. En route we keep our eyes peeled for Gray Partridges and Snow Buntings. If the weather is right for diurnal raptor migration, we may next spend some time at a hawk watch site just south of Winnipeg, where we should see Bald Eagles and other raptors, including possibly Northern Goshawk. We have a picnic lunch, possibly at the hawk watch.

Next we head into the city where we hope to locate an Eastern Screech-Owl at a roost. Late in the afternoon we drive east of the city to our hotel in the town of Lac du Bonnet, which will be our base for the next two days. We may be fortunate in finding Sharp-tailed Grouse en route. After dinner, if the weather is calm, we drive still farther east into the boreal forest to listen for any owls that may be calling.

Alternatively, we may head west to Riding Mountain National Park, should reports of Great Gray Owls be regular there, or we may head north to Hecla Island. Night in Lac du Bonnet or appropriate location.

Days 3 and 4 - Lac du Bonnet

Our day outings start around 8 a.m. We cover roads and trails at the edge of the boreal forest, where we have the greatest chance of seeing Great Gray Owls. These birds are usually extremely tame and should allow for great photo opportunities. We have a good chance of seeing Northern Hawk Owl also, plus Bald Eagle, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Pileated Woodpecker, Northern Shrike, Gray Jay and Boreal Chickadee.

There are usually a number of small towns and cottages in the area where we visit feeders to look for Common Redpoll and Evening Grosbeak. At this time of year there are usually still some Hoary Redpolls around and we have a slim chance of spotting a late lingering Pine Grosbeak. Crossbill numbers fluctuate enormously; with luck we may see some.

Other target birds include Spruce Grouse and both “three-toed” woodpeckers, but finding these species is often more a matter of luck than anything else. Lunches will be in the field or at local restaurants. Weather permitting we’ll try again for owls on the evening of Day 3. Great Horned, Barred and Northern Saw-whet Owls are all possible. Late afternoon on Day 4 we return to Winnipeg, where we have dinner.

Day 5 - Departure

Our Manitoba Owls birding tour ends today and you are welcome to leave anytime.

Map
Featured Wildlife
Reviews

"Wonderful birds and a wonderful guide." - Manitoba Owls tour participant 2015

"My first tou and it was wonderful. Made me consider another tour. Well taken care of by our guides and hotel. Enjoyable group and lots of fun." - 2016 participant

"Guides were great, participants made for good companionship, some outstanding birds and excellent accommodations." - 2016 participant

"This is an excellent adventure to see northern (bird) species that rarely visit the U.S. Rudolf takes you into their winter habitat of natural surroundings, making it a truly awesome learning experience." - 2015 tour participant