GHOSTS OF THE NORTH
- located in Southern Ontario, Canada
- search for owls by car
- length varies from 1 to 3 days
Things you'll love
about this tour
Snowy Owl Guarentee
The area I bring has been reliable for years, and if we do not see a snowy owl at any point in the trip, I am happy to reimburse the tour.
Property Access Rights
I have been specifically granted access to a number of fields which snowy owls frequent.
Ethics are priority
I don't bait, flush or otherwise harass the owls. If you're looking to view and photograph these beautiful owls in an appropriate context, you can feel good about joining my tour.
Attempting a "Moon/Owl" Shot
I've lined up my dates to coincide with the best possibility of photographing a snowy owl in front of the moon! Accomplishing this has been a photography career highlight for me, and I hope to help you achieve it as well.
Welcome to "Ghosts of the North" - an ethical owl viewing and photography experience. The length of this tour is up to you - 1 day, 2 days, or 3 days. Snowy owls are often perched by roadsides on trees, posts and poles. Sometimes they will sit right on the snow-covered ground, and finding one in this camouflaged setting is a real treat. They are a skittish owl, and so we'll be keeping our distance so as to not flush them from their positions.
Our best opportunities to get relatively close to the owls is when they are perched beside the road up on poles or posts. Sometimes we will find them on fields which I have property access rights to, in which case we can trek out in the snow in order to get closer. Other times, however, we may find them on properties we cannot access and so our photography opportunities will be limited in those cases.
I'm pleased to be offering this tour in multiple formats - single day trips, 2 days (my 'standard duration'), or 3 days. Morning and late afternoon sessions are most productive, so we will break mid day. Your own vehicle will be required as you drive along behind me on country roads. Winter tires are essential.
with inquiries + booking requests
$699 per person for 2 days (3 sessions: evening, morning + evening)
(family/group discount available; please contact me)
Jan 23-24 + Feb 22-23 (2 spots left)
*other custom dates throughout winter available on request*
*single day or extended trips available on request - contact me for price quote*
What level of photography experience is recommended?All levels are welcome (even non-photographers who are simply nature enthusiasts). The tour is, however, primarily geared towards beginner and intermediate photographers who are looking to learn photography tips and tricks along the way.
What exactly does this tour entail?There are many different areas I can guide you, and it will largely depend on time of year and the goals you have in mind. For instance - for loons, I might recommend we get out on my boat on a certain lake. For moose, I might recommend a certain short hike, or a certain area to drive around. For lake sunrises I have certain areas in mind. For autumn colours, there are a whole new set of places I would take us. Therefore, in order to curate the best possible experience for you, I look forward to learning your hopes + goals, and each tour will be unique!
Will we see wildlife?Though I'd love to be able to, I simply cannot guarantee we'll see wildlife. However, there are certain things we can do to vastly increase our chances depending on which animals you are most interested in seeing. (If you are REALLY serious about moose, consider joining my Moose Quest trip which guarantees moose sightings) (If you are REALLY serious about loons and chicks, consider joining my Loon Quest trip)
What time of year is best for wildlife?I'd recommend May and early June for most wildlife, though autumn can be good too.
Where does the tour take place?The location will be at a designated meeting spot along highway 60 in Algonquin Provincial Park. After booking, more information will be disclosed. We will travel around together but in separate vehicles.
What about bad weather?Aside from severe weather, we plan to run the trip rain or shine.
Will I need my own transportation?Yes - guests will meet with me at an established location, and we will travel around together but in separate vehicles.
Are accommodations provided if I choose multiple days of guiding?Guests are responsible for their own accommodations. There are many options in Huntsville + Dwight (west end of Algonquin) and Whitney (east end) in addition to camping in Algonquin Park.
What is the maximum group size?4 guests in addition to myself. I also offer private guiding on request.
What is the cancellation policy?A 50% refundable deposit is required at the time of booking. This is 100% refundable up until 60 days prior to the trip start date at which point it is non refundable. The remaining 50% is required 30 days prior to the trip start date (a reminder in advance of this approaching date will be sent out).
Wow! What an incredible, one-of-a kind experience. If you're looking for something new and fun to do in the winter, I would highly recommend this!! Chris was spectacular at communicating and we could tell he takes a lot of care in his work, even arriving early to do some scouting so that we were not disappointed. He also spoke of the ethical way to observe owls without baiting our getting too close, so we could tell he cares a great deal for the wildlife. Chris supplied binoculars for each of us, and communicated throughout the drive as we followed along in our own vehicle, which added a nice touch of convenience and comfort. The outing itself was marvellous! Not only did we see an incredible amount of beautiful snowy owls, but even saw a pair of Bald Eagles, which I imagine was only due to Chris's experience with the area and keen eye for spotting. 100% recommended!
-Lauren, Jan 2021
A fun hunt for snowy owls. We were pleased to spot and observe some! Would not have been able to find them on our own.
-Jane, March 2021
This was an awesome experience! We saw at least a half a dozen snowy owls [during 1 afternoon]! Chris was very knowledgeable and respectful of the area and adhered to the rules of social distancing. He was very prepared with sanitized binoculars and walk-in talked to communicate while in our cars. We got some fantastic pictures. Would highly recommend Chris if you have an interest in snowies. He gave us a discounted rate for a group even though there were just 2 of us.
-Sue, Feb 2021
Chris was a great host and had a remarkable ability to spot snowy owls in spots that would be very challenging on your own. We saw a few different owls in this [single] outing and part of the fun was the driving around and patience required before sighting one. Some of the owls were on nearby telephone poles which allowed for a great viewing with the provided binoculars. Chris was also gracious enough to take some pictures on our behalf since we didn’t have our own camera with a telephoto lens. Overall, a really fun experience.
-Tameez, March 2021
Participants will be required to sign a liability waiver prior to the tour.
A 50% refundable deposit is required at the time of booking. This is 100% refundable up until 60 days prior to the trip start date at which point it is non refundable. The remaining 50% is required 30 days prior to the trip start date (a reminder in advance of this approaching date will be sent out).