This tour is offered in partnership with Ventures Birding Tours.

Available spaces may be different to those advertised on our website.

A trip to northern Minnesota in the dead of winter may beggar belief for the average person, but for birders, this is the best time of year to see the highly-sought after northern owls (Great Gray, Snowy, Northern Hawk, and sometimes Boreal and Northern Saw-whet). The list of winter finches adds additional highlights with Common & Hoary Redpolls, Pine & Evening Grosbeaks, and Red Crossbill all likely. Winter provides a much better chance of seeing things like Spruce Grouse in addition to the expected gamut of Gray Jay, Boreal Chickadee, Black-backed Woodpecker, Northern Shrike, Bohemian Waxwing and more. We will also be on the lookout for any mammals, with moose and gray wolf both being possible.

Our 5-day trip will explore the snowy boreal forests, tamarack bogs, and Superior shoreline of the far north from our base in Duluth. The famous Sax-Zim Bog is home to many of our target species and we will likely spend the better part of two days driving many of the backroads of this fantastic area. Make no mistake about it – the temperatures will be frigid (sub-zero temperatures are likely at some point during the tour) and wintry conditions (which vary year to year) can make things difficult, but by dressing and preparing properly you will find the northern winter manageable, if not enjoyable. Due to the variable nature of the weather and sporadic abundance of some of our targets, our itinerary will remain flexible to give us the best chance of finding them as well as any rarities that might be around.



Top Birds

What Birds We Hope to See? Common & Red-breasted Mergansers, Harlequin Duck, Common Goldeneye, Great Gray, Boreal, Snowy, and Northern Hawk Owls, Bald Eagle, Rough-legged Hawk, Ruffed, Spruce and Sharp-tailed Grouse, Ring-necked Pheasant, Three-toed and Hairy Woodpeckers, Common Raven, Black-billed Magpie, Northern Shrike, Bohemian Waxwing, Red-breasted Nuthatch, American Tree Sparrow, Pine and Evening Grosbeaks, Pine Siskin, Common and Hoary Redpolls, Snow Bunting, and a selection of gulls (Iceland, Glaucous, Herring, and maybe more) and a few other goodies that might be in the area!

Top Mammals

American & Pine Martens; Red Squirrel; Snowshoe Hare; Bobcat; North American Porcupine; White-tailed Deer, Long-tailed Weasel, Red Fox, Gray Wolf (rare).

Habitats Covered

boreal forest, agricultural fields and park land

Expected Climate

temperatures are likely to be close to, or below 0℃ (32℉)

Max Group Size

8 with 1 Ventures leader

Tour Pace & Walking

relaxed, days are short, and we are likely be back at our accommodation by 18:00 most evenings. Optional owling after dark



Ease of Birding

mostly very easy

Photographic Opportunities


What our clients say about us

Stephan Lorenz
NM, Texas 2021

Overall it was a great trip. Stephan made sure everyone got good looks at all the found birds. Highly recommend it.

Adam Walleyn
JW & JW, California 2021

Luke & Adam did a great job. This tour was the perfect US specialty tour (will be interested to see more of these)... We covered tons of environments in a fairly small territory. Luke is a LA-area expert and aimed us exactly where we needed to be.

Aaron Steed
EL, Kansas 2021

A very enjoyable domestic trip. Kansas was beautiful in the fall and, while we may not have seen the greatest number of species, we saw enormous numbers of waterfowl – some species in numbers greater than all I have seen before combined. We were also able to view several species of beautiful sparrows which I never or rarely see in the West. I am so glad that Rockjumper is increasing the number of US trips as these relatively easy, short (1 week) trips are very appealing to me for just the pleasure of travel and birding without stress concern about visas or covid testing. Our guide, Aaron Steed was very familiar with the area and the birds we could expect. He was able to find a number of relatively uncommon and localized species for us.

Forrest Rowland
EL, Montana, USA 2022

Forrest Rowland led the tour, he was very good spotting birds and getting participants on the birds. Very friendly and professional, I would sign on to another tour with him.

Claudia Cavazos
WW, Texas 2021

Stephan Lorenz is a fantastic leader. This is my second trip with him and the reason I booked this trip. His attention to details and relentless searching for sought after birds makes any trip with him well worth the time. He and his wife, Claudia work well together as a dynamic team solving any problem that arise. We missed our connections and were late for the first day and efforts were made and resolved for us to join the group quickly. Despite the stormy weather we were able to see the target birds. This trip was selected because of the shorter amount of days making it easier to fit into our schedule. During this pandemic we felt safe traveling with this group and with the conditions of lodging and take out meal dining. I look forward to my next trip with Stephan.

USA - Minnesota: Northern Owls 2024

21 Jan 2024 - 26 Jan 2024 (6 days)

USD1,900 - Spaces Available


Tour Leader: Local Leader

Tour price (Per person): USD1,900 * GBP1,565 * EUR1,799 * AUD2,977

Single Supplement: USD450 * GBP371 * EUR426 * AUD705

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Route Map

Tour Route Map