Birding in Minnesota for Owls and More
Day 1:  Arrival into Minneapolis; and Afternoon
Birding at Sax-Zim Bog and More

Fly (or drive) to Minneapolis by 10 AM on the first day of
the trip.  Or, fly in the day before (but slight additional cost
for extra night in Minneapolis).

After picking up at the local hotel anyone who flies in the
night before, we will meet the other participants at the
Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport by 10:30 AM.

After a couple hours of driving we get to Duluth, and we will
likely next go to Sax-Zim Bog to look for Northern Hawk Owl
and/or Great Gray Owl.  If things are going really well and
we still have time, we will possibly look for Snowy Owls in
the Duluth harbor.

Depending upon our birding and likely by 5 PM, we will
arrive at our Duluth hotel and check in.  We will have
supper together as a group and have a brief trip
orientation and confirm breakfast and gathering plans for
the morning.

Day 2:  Bird Sax-Zim Bog

After breakfast at the hotel, we will start back for Sax-Zim
Bog for grouse, owls, winter finches and winter regulars in
the morning hours.  

During the afternoon, we will try a few good spots in the
Duluth area for Bohemian Waxwings and Snowy Owls
(likely right on the ice off the Duluth harbor).  

At dusk, we will take a quick drive and scan for Boreal
Owls.  If we are fortunate, we will get a call about a recently
seen Boreal Owl, and we will go directly to that location
(cutting short our dusk drive and maximizing time for getting
to bed after a long day birding).  The guide will be well
prepared to receive this call, based upon his contacts with
the Duluth birding community.

At supper, we will plan for our early start the next morning.

Day 3:  Birding Northern Lake County

After an early breakfast, we will head towards northern
Lake County right before 6 AM so that by 7:30 AM we will
be in Spruce Grouse country.  Besides getting looks at
Spruce Grouse, we will try any areas where owls may have
been reported.  We will also look for any of the more
difficult to find winter finches and will enjoy looking at the
more abundant species again.

Day 4. Birding Aitkin County

After breakfast, we will head towards Aitkin County.  After a
45 minute drive, we will have good looks at Sharp-tailed
Grouse at a reliable site.  We will then try several stakeout
sites for owl species which we may have not yet found, and
likely enjoy several winter finch species as well.  

In the afternoon, we will head back to Duluth to view gulls at
reliable gull sites there or go back to Sax-Zim Bog.

Plans after finding the Sharp-tailed Grouse and into the
afternoon might change so that we can focus on any winter
species we have not yet found.  Nonetheless, at some point
during the trip, we will try good sites for the wintering gulls.

At supper that night, we will make plans for the morning.  

Day 5.  AM Birding for Any Missed Species and/or
Surprises, and PM Flights Home

After an early breakfast, the group should gather with their
bags packed.  

We may spend 6 AM to 10 AM birding any key spots with
birds reported which we may have missed.  That being
said, we may have already had good looks at all our target
species, and we may start a little later birding just a few
hours before heading back to the airport.  

Flights should be planned for leaving after 1:30 PM that
afternoon.  We will drop the group off at the airport  just
after 12:00 noon.  The guide will be available to bird with
anyone a little more if they have later flights that day.

Important Note:  If Gyrfalcon and/or Boreal Owl are
reported near Duluth, we will change some of the plans
above to accommodate viewing these species. This will
either add a tough to get species and/or reduce our birding
at dusk.

Blizzard Warning:  Snow storms and blizzards can change
plans on this trip.  Last year, 1 of the 3 trips had a blizzard,
costing 1 day of birding.  2 trips ran without any snow
difficulties.   For those losing out on the birding due to
blizzards, we will make a credit to each participant on the
trip for a future birding trip to make up for this loss.  Sadly,
we cannot recoup any costs other than gasoline here and
in some cases rental car expenses.  Any savings we have
here, we will pass along and then pay another $100 for
each day loss as a credit on future trips.  This will max out
at $300 for 3 lost days.   If you want to discuss this policy
more, please call Charles at 720-320-1974.
For more information or to register for this trip, call Charles toll free at  
888-203-7464 or Charles directly at 720-320-1974 or by email at
info@PIBird.com.
Detailed Itinerary
Photo by Bill Schmoker
Minnesota Owls:

Detailed Itinerary
Photo by Bill Schmoker
Photo by Bill Schmoker