With your help, we’ve protected 363 acres of Bog for future generations of birds and birders!

Big Half Year for the Bog

Set your birding goals for 2018!

CREATE YOUR OWN BIRDING GOALS FOR JANUARY-JUNE 2018
YOU CAN DESIGN YOUR OWN BIG HALF YEAR! Pick a birding goal…any goal! It can be species you see just in your backyard…or in a local park…or in your county…or entire state (ANY STATE! Not just Minnesota). Be creative! Because it is not the birder with the biggest number that wins…All prizes will be given away as a drawing in early July 2018

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White-winged Crossbills

New Clinton's Critters Video

Enjoy this second installment of the Clinton’s Critters video series. In this episode, Clinton shares some of the fascinating natural history of White-winged Crossbills.

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2018 Gala at Springbrook

Gala sets Record for Funds & Fun!

Over 70 “bog buddies” flocked together to support us and our mission to Preserve, Promote and Protect the Sax-Zim Bog. This total was about a third less than last year, but I have a sneaking suspicion that a certain football game interfered with attendance. No matter, we all had a wonderful time and enjoyed the usual appetizers presented in an unusual manner…”Snowy Owl bars,”….

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Friends of Sax-Zim Bog

HERE ARE OUR GOALS: 1. Acquire bog habitat in the Sax-Zim Bog of St. Louis County, Minnesota (a world-famous birding destination) 2. Build a small “Birder Welcome Center” and bog interpretive center on the land 3. Fund educational/research projects centered on peatlands and associated birdlife
Friends of Sax-Zim Bog
Friends of Sax-Zim Bog22 hours ago
Good morning everyone! There is lots of snow in the Bog this morning, so here is a reminder to take extra caution on the roads today. Not all of the roads are plowed and driving conditions are fair. If you encounter a snow plow on the roadways, be respectful by giving them plenty of room.

Be careful of the roadsides as well, as some of the ditches might not be easy to see. If you do happen to get stuck, Mrs. Mack’s Towing would be a great number to have: 218-393-7377. Stay safe out there today and take extra time for driving and stopping on the roads in the Bog!
Friends of Sax-Zim Bog
Friends of Sax-Zim Bog2 weeks ago
** WINTER RAPTOR FIELD TRIP REPORT **

This Saturday was our Winter Raptor Field Trip, which was held in the Duluth area due to the good number of wintering birds of prey. Urban areas may not seem like the best place to find birds of prey, but where there are grain bins and wide open spaces, you will surely find rodents and pigeons which are great food options.

Though the snowy conditions made visibility difficult at times, the trip found a good number of raptors! In Duluth's Port Terminal, we found a total of 3 Snowy Owls! We were treated to some excitement when the young banded female abruptly left her perch atop a gravel pile to chase away an adult male which we had not seen! At the same location we found the first Snowy Owl, we also found our first Red-tailed Hawk of the day, which was a juvenile.

From Port Terminal, we cruised over to the waste disposal facility in Duluth (WLSSD), hoping that this mega food source for rodents and pigeons may hold a raptor or two hoping to make a quick meal. We were not disappointed! We had a total of 3 Red-tailed Hawks hanging out around the dump, two juveniles and one adult. However, we did not find any Bald Eagles, which usually hang around WLSSD in the winter to utilize the open water behind the facility.

At this point in the day, we had basically two more urban raptor species to find: Peregrine Falcon and Bald Eagle. Each of these species will winter in the Duluth area, but in small numbers. With the snow and wind, visibility was tough and the only Bald Eagle we found was only a dark lump sitting on the ice of Lake Superior! However, when viewing the Bald Eagle, we were able to find a Peregrine Falcon hiding from the blowing wind and snow on a balcony of the Sheraton Hotel.

Having found all of our urban raptor targets, the group decided that we should try and look for a few owls wintering along Lake Superior. This year has been a banner year for Boreal Owls and Great Gray Owls near Lake Superior, an irruption of sorts. On our search we were able to find both owls! One Boreal Owl was spotted along the Lake Shore and we ended up finding two Great Gray Owls away from the lake!

All in all a raptor filled morning in the wintery northwoods. Here is the full list of raptors found during the trip:

Snowy Owl- 3
Great Gray Owl- 2
Boreal Owl- 1
Red-tailed Hawk- 4
Bald Eagle- 1
Peregrine Falcon- 1

As always, the list of upcoming programs and trips can be found on our website: http://saxzim.org/events/. There are only four programs and one field trip left before we gear up for the Spring and Summer Program season! We hope to see you out in the Bog!

(Distant photo below of one of the three Snowy Owls on the trip by Clinton Nienhaus)
Friends of Sax-Zim Bog
Friends of Sax-Zim Bog3 weeks ago
** WINTER RAPTOR FIELD TRIP UPDATE **

This Saturday, February 3, is the 3rd annual Winter Raptor Field Trip for the Friends of Sax-Zim Bog. However, this trip will not be meeting in the Sax-Zim Bog, as our intention is to find non-owl raptors, which have been scarce in the Bog as of late.

The Field Trip will be meeting in Duluth, in Canal Park near the Lake Superior Maritime Visitors Center. The trip will still be meeting at 9 am, but we will NOT be meeting in the Bog!

If you are still interested in this field trip please RSVP to Head Naturalist Clinton at naturalist@saxzim.org.

Target species for this trip include Snowy Owl, Peregrine Falcon, Rough-legged Hawk and more!

(Photo of Snowy Owl by Clinton Nienhaus)
Friends of Sax-Zim Bog
Friends of Sax-Zim Bog3 weeks ago
**JANUARY WINTER RAPTOR SURVEY REPORT**

January is usually the toughest month to find raptors in the Sax-Zim Bog. At this point in the winter season, the snow conditions are such that most of our arctic winter visitors, like Northern Shrike and Rough-legged Hawk, have a tough time finding enough food and move further south. This year, with the recent thaw, raptors and shrikes have been sticking around.

The January Winter Raptor Survey started out slow! We did not see our first bird of interest until nearly 12:00 noon. A Northern Shrike zipped after a bird and across the road to be the first "winter raptor" counted.

Even when a survey is slow, neat things are seen. A total of 4(!) Porcupines were seen along the survey route, which covers the length and breadth of Sax-Zim Bog IBA. A hunting, and successfully snow plunging Red Fox along Hwy 7 gave a welcomed interlude to scanning the skies and telephone lines. Eventually, more than just shrikes were recorded on the survey: an adult female Rough-legged Hawk made sure Head Naturalist Clinton and Kristina Dexter did not "shrike out" on the day!

All in all, a total of 6 Northern Shrikes and 1 Rough-legged Hawk were observed on the survey! Most interesting is the bird pictured below: a juvenile Northern Shrike. This juvenile is the second observed during the survey this winter, which is rather uncommon. You can age this shrike by looking at the overall plumage, which has a hint of brown tones through the chest and head, along with an incomplete mask and lots of pink on the lower mandible. This young bird was happily searching for rodents along Hwy 7.

It was a beautiful day to be in the Bog to complete the third Winter Raptor Survey of the season! February will see our last survey of the season and the results of the Winter Raptor Survey will be shared at that time: Stay tuned!
Friends of Sax-Zim Bog
Friends of Sax-Zim Bog added 3 new photos.4 weeks ago
WHITE CRITTERS at the WELCOME CENTER. I worked at the Welcome Center yesterday and had the fun of sharing sightings of two white (whitish?) bog critters with visitors. The first was the female HOARY REDPOLL that has been making daily appearances since mid December (thistle feeder outside main windows). Note her stubby bill, flat appearing face, frosty white back, indistinct flank stripes, no undertail covert markings. Then after noon the resident ERMINE (Short-tailed Weasel) came to feed on the rib cage outside the front windows. Heather-Marie and Clinton have seen it since Saturday. Ermine probably best viewed from inside the building.
Friends of Sax-Zim Bog
Friends of Sax-Zim Bog4 weeks ago
Just Released....New CLINTON'S CRITTERS video. Learn about the natural history of WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS in Sax-Zim Bog. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tz0Ks9T-RM4
Friends of Sax-Zim Bog
Clinton's Critters: White winged Crossbill
Clinton Nienhaus, Head Naturalist for Friends of Sax-Zim Bog shares natural history of the White-winged Crossbill.
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