Winter Birding in Minnesota (January 20-23, 2021)

Great Gray Owl - Winter Birding in Minnesota

Sax-Zim Bog offers some of the best chances to glimpse boreal species including Northern Hawk Owl, Snowy Owl, Common and Hoary Redpolls, Ruffed Grouse, Boreal Chickadee, Black-backed Woodpecker, Northern Goshawk, and Great Gray Owl, North America’s tallest owl and a crowd favorite. The bog’s mix of seasonal boreal birds is unmatched by any other North American location. In addition to Sax-Zim Bog, we’ll be following daily bird reports for updates on rarities in the area. Get ready for a winter birding wonderland in Minnesota!


Day 1 (Wed, Jan 20): Denver/ Minneapolis/ Duluth ~ Mid-morning arrival to Minneapolis. After picking up our rental vehicle, we’ll drive to the Duluth/ North Shore area for our first round of birding (drive time approx. 2.5-3 hrs). Evening check in to our hotel. Fitger’s Inn, our home base for the next three nights, is located in the historic 1885 renovated Fitger’s Brewery and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Get to know your fellow birders and discuss birding strategies for the weekend during tonight’s welcome dinner.

Accommodations: Fitger’s Inn

Meals: Lunch

Days 2-3 (Thurs, Jan 21 – Fri, Jan 22) – Duluth/ Sax-Zim Bog/ Lake Superior ~ Early morning departures from Duluth for full days of birding including Sax-Zim Bog and other area highlights. Exact locations will depend on recent sightings.

Accommodations: Fitger’s Inn

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 4 (Sat, Jan 23) – Duluth/ Minneapolis/ Departure ~ We have the morning to continue birding the area. Afternoon return to Minneapolis in time to connect to evening flight home.

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch


Price: $1395* per person based on  double occupancy (two people sharing accommodations). Supplement for private accommodations on single occupancy basis: $345*.

Price includes accommodations, private transportation in a Ford Transit 12-passneger van or similar, full-time driver/guide (Sheridan Samano from Reefs to Rockies), expert local birding guide Judd Brink, activities and meals as listed in the itinerary.

Exclusions: airfare, dinners, optional gratuities, and travel insurance.

Group size: six + two leaders. We are known for having smaller group sizes than most companies offering similar itineraries.  These small group sizes naturally limit the number of people you come into contact with on a Reefs to Rockies trip.  In addition, this itinerary takes you to prime birding locations far away from crowds. By scheduling the trip during the week, we’re also traveling during a slower time period at our hotel in Duluth.  These measures will enhance social distancing during the trip. Enhanced cleanliness and sanitation protocols will also be implemented throughout the trip.

*Pricing and availability are subject to change without notice until booked and deposit received.  A 3% discount will be applied to payments by check.