© Jean Hall


Again this year, we’re offering a way to see some winter’s most majestic raptors while supporting Project SNOWstorm.

Project SNOWstorm is again partnering with Destination: Wildlife, which specializes in ecotour trips that benefit conservation nonprofits, to offer two winter excursions in early 2025: A six-day, five-night tour of northern Minnesota looking for northern specialties like spruce grouse, Bohemian waxwings, red and white-winged crossbills, pine and evening grosbeak, boreal chickadees — and owls, including great gray, boreal and northern hawk-owls…and perhaps a snowy or two, depending on this winter’s flight. That trip is Jan. 5-10, 2025, departing from Minneapolis and exploring much of northern Minnesota and the Lake Superior shoreline. You can find more information on this tour here.

The second trip, Feb. 13-17, will focus on eastern Lake Ontario in northern New York State and southern Ontario. The exact itinerary will depend on where the birds are, but should include Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, the Cape Vincent region of New York, and Amherst Island on the Ontario side of the border. (Travelers will be required to have a valid passport.) SNOWstorm co-founder Scott Weidensaul will joining the fun on this trip, watching for winter raptors like bald eagles, short-eared owls, northern harriers, rough-legged hawks and northern shrikes — and, of course, keeping fingers crossed that it’s a good flight year for snowy owls, too. There’s complete details on this tour here.

Both trips are limited to eight participants. Please note that these are not primarily photography trips, and it goes without saying that we will not bait, flush or disturb any of the birds we see, especially owls. Best of all, in both cases $500 of each participant’s fee is a tax-deductible contribution to Project SNOWstorm, so you can have fun while supporting the research work we do.