With your help, we’ve protected 326 acres of Bog for future generations of birds and birders!

Upcoming Events

Field Trips & Programs Spring/Early Summer 2017

The Friends of Sax-Zim Bog is continuing to build and offer diverse programming for all of the seasons! The spring and summer listings include a mix of public programs, field trips, naturalist hikes, and workshops!  All of programs are FREE. All of the field trips are FREE for members who have donated over $20 in the last year. If you are not a member, the $20 Field Trip fee includes a membership and 12-months of free field trips. If you have any questions about any of the programs, field trips, naturalist hikes, or workshops, and to RSVP, please contact Head Naturalist Clinton Nienhaus via email at naturalist@saxzim.org.

 ** Currently, Arkola Road between Poplar Road and Hwy 7 is closed! Please follow Hwy 7 south to Hwy 133 and continue to Meadowlands (directions below) ** 

Thursday, April 13

April Naturalist Hike

9:00 am-12:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Naturalist Hikes are a great way to explore the bog and have the option to learn about a bog or ask all of the questions you can think of about the plants and animals in the Sax-Zim Bog!  Our hikes will meet rain or shine, so please come prepared for the weather. Bring binoculars, cameras, insect nets… or anything that can help you enjoy a hike exploring the diversity of the Sax-Zim Bog!

Saturday, April 15

Early Birds Field Trip

8:00- 12:00 pm Meet at the Welcome Center

By early to mid-April, many of our early spring migrants are back to the bog, singing their spring songs and defining territories. Many warblers will not be back yet, however, birds like Eastern Pheobe, White-throated Sparrow, and Lincoln’s Sparrow will likely be on territory and singing! Come out and see some of the early birds to the bog!

Sunday, April 16

Spring Ephemerals

9:00 am- 12:00pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Ephemeral means short-lived or refers to something lasting a short time. Many plants and sometimes ecosystems can be short-lived, but nonetheless important! We will explore ephemeral ponds and find some species that rely on these short lived pockets of water.

Learning Local Lichens

1:00 pm- 3:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Lichens are all around us, but have you taken the chance to get to know your local lichens? This program will teach you a little about your local lichens, giving ID tips for the most common lichens in the northern reaches of Minnesota. Come and learn about what a lichen is, what they do, and a little about where you can find them near you!

 

Friday, May 5

Tracking and Animal Sign

9:00 am- 12:00pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Often, when traversing the Sax-Zim Bog, tracks are encountered. But how do you know if you are looking at dog vs wolf tracks? What is the difference between a hole made by a Downy Woodpecker and a Black-backed Woodpecker? We will investigate the activity by critters in the Sax-Zim Bog through an investigation of the area around the Welcome Center.

Bog Ecology Hike

1:00 pm-4:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Bogs have a unique set of characteristics that are not found in many other ecosystems in the state of Minnesota. They are also a unique place to experience at any time of the year; however, the summer gives you a true understanding of the uniquely harsh environments in a bog. Join us to learn a little about bog ecology and what makes a bog a bog.

Saturday, May 6

Pond Investigation

10:00 am- 1:00pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

If you have visited the Welcome Center during the winter, you may have noticed a large open space, covered in snow. Have you ever wondered what that space was? It is a thriving pond! This program will investigate what creatures may be in the pond. We will don boots and waders and catch a few of the critters that can be found under the water. This program is perfect for young naturalists and those naturalists who are young at heart!

Tree ID Program

2:00 pm-3:30pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Ecologically speaking, the Sax-Zim Bog is in the middle of the Laurentian Mixed Forest Ecoregion. This designation means that there is a large diversity of trees, both deciduous and coniferous. For bird watching, knowing your trees can be important! It helps define what species may be found where and trees are often used as a reference point to find the hard to see spring warblers! Come out for a short hike around the Welcome Center to learn a few of the common trees in the Sax-Zim Bog and to brush up on your tree ID for birdwatching!

Things that go Buzz, Croak, Hoot, and Bump in the Night Field Trip

4:30-5:30 pm Early Dinner at Wilbert Café in Cotton

6:00-10:00 pm Field Trip meeting at the Welcome Center

Spring in the Bog is full of burgeoning life…and dusk is a great time to SEE and HEAR some of the unique critters. On this evening event we will listen for early season frog species, American Bittern, Wilson’s Snipe, American Woodcock, and search for Great Gray Owls! However, you never know what these late-afternoon-to-dark trips might turn up!

Sunday, May 7

American Kestrel Monitoring Program

9:00 am- 12:00pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

American Kestrels are the smallest falcon in North America and are a ubiquitous feature of open landscapes throughout the state. However, these colorful falcons have become less common through their range due to a number of factors. At the Sax-Zim Bog, we regularly monitor American Kestrel nest boxes… but how do you get involved? This program will give you basic information about American Kestrels, how and where they nest, and how you can help these beautiful birds!

Amazing Amphibians

1:00 pm-4:00pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Amphibians are an incredible group of critters! Not only are the indicators of water quality, but they have very diverse life histories! Tiger Salamanders utilize water for breeding, but often can be found in fields. Wood Frogs can freeze solid during the winter, only to revive in the spring and breed! There are even two species of salamander in northern Minnesota that lack lungs! Come learn a little more about these wonderful creatures and maybe try your luck at catching a frog or two!

Tuesday, May 9

May Naturalist Hike #1

9:00 am-12:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Naturalist Hikes are a great way to explore the bog and have the option to learn about a bog or ask all of the questions you can think of about the plants and animals in the Sax-Zim Bog!  Our hikes will meet rain or shine, so please come prepared for the weather. Bring binoculars, cameras, insect nets… or anything that can help you enjoy a hike exploring the diversity of the Sax-Zim Bog!

Wednesday, May 10, 17, 24, 31

Warbler Wednesdays

FOUR Warbler Wednesday Field Trips this year!

6 am- 12:00pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Warblers! That is what the target of this weekly field trip will be! Of course there are other species of birds to see in the bog during this time: up to 75 species can be expected in one day! The Sax-Zim Bog is home to many species of warbler, including Connecticut Warblers, who draw folks from across the country each year! Join us each Wednesday to find these beautiful and diverse songsters!

Wednesday, May 17, 24, 31

Wildflower Wednesdays!

1:00- 3:00pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

If you don’t want to join the early birds for Warbler Wednesdays, come out after lunch to see some iconic bog wildflowers! The Sax-Zim Bog is a diverse set of habitats with a flowering plant list over 200 species! Bog orchids, carnivorous plants, and boreal forest specialties can all be found in the expanses of the bog. Be prepared for a leisurely hike, perhaps venturing in to the bog at times! (BRING A LUNCH IF YOU PLAN TO DO BOTH THE WARBLERS IN MORNING AND WILDFLOWERS IN P.M.)

Thursday, May 25

May Naturalist Hike #2

9:00 am-12:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Naturalist Hikes are a great way to explore the bog and have the option to learn about a bog or ask all of the questions you can think of about the plants and animals in the Sax-Zim Bog!  Our hikes will meet rain or shine, so please come prepared for the weather. Bring binoculars, cameras, insect nets… or anything that can help you enjoy a hike exploring the diversity of the Sax-Zim Bog!

 

Friday, June 2

Bog Specialists Hike

9:00 am- 12:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Birdwatchers often focus their efforts on specialist species when visiting a new area, whether it is montane species in Colombia, or island species in the Bahamas. Believe it or not, the Sax-Zim Bog harbors species just as specific as southern birds! Bog Birch, Pitcher Plants, and even Boreal Chickadees are species that rely on bog ecosystems. Join us on a slog through the bog to find a few iconic bog specialist species.

Saturday, June 3

Butterfly Hike

9:00 am- 12:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Monarch butterflies are maybe one of the most recognized butterfly species in the US: they are big, bright, and special to many of us. But there are more than just Monarchs out there! This hike will look for a few species of butterfly in the Sax-Zim Bog and we will talk about what you can do to attract them to your house or garden.

Native Pollinators

1:00 pm-4:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Across the US, pollinators are in trouble. From bees to butterflies, populations have been on a decline. However, there are ways that you can help stop this decline and make your home more pollinator friendly! Come to learn how to ID some of our native pollinators and how you can help these important insects!

Sunday, June 4

Bog Wildflower Hike

9:00 am- 12:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

The Sax-Zim Bog is a network of habitats, which, in turn, allow for a large diversity of flowering plants! In one day, you could find true bog specialties, prairie plants, and boreal forest staples, all within a few miles of one another. This trip will look for the next set of plant species that will be blooming in the Sax-Zim Bog. Bring boots and prepare for slogging through wet areas.

Bog Ecology Hike

1:00 pm-4:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Bogs have a unique set of characteristics that are not found in many other ecosystems in the state of Minnesota. They are also a unique place to experience at any time of the year; however, the summer gives you a true understanding of the uniquely harsh environments in a bog. Join us to learn a little about bog ecology and what makes a bog a bog.

Tuesday, June 6

June Naturalist Hike #1

9:00 am-12:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Naturalist Hikes are a great way to explore the bog and have the option to learn about a bog or ask all of the questions you can think of about the plants and animals in the Sax-Zim Bog!  Our hikes will meet rain or shine, so please come prepared for the weather. Bring binoculars, cameras, insect nets… or anything that can help you enjoy a hike exploring the diversity of the Sax-Zim Bog!

Friday, June 16

Bird Song Field Trip

6:00- 11:00 am Meet at the Welcome Center

By the time that trees have leaves, warblers and other birds can be hard to see through the thick leaf cover. However, there is a way to still find these birds! You can enjoy the soundscapes created by their voices! Learning bird songs can seem like a daunting task, but can be easy if you break it down. Join us on a field trip focused on learning bird calls, from the easiest to the most difficult!

Friday, June 23

Dragonfly and Damselfly Basics

9:00 am- 12:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Dragonflies and damselflies are a recognizable group of insects that can often be seen around ponds and lakes. Recently, dragonflies and damselflies have become of recreational interest to naturalists and the general public alike. Come out to learn the differences and similarities in dragonflies and damselflies and maybe try your hand at catching a few for closer investigation!

Spiders!

12:00 am-3:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Spiders are an interesting bunch: some have nothing but nice things to say about them, while others cannot bear to be within several hundred feet of these eight legged wonders. The Sax-Zim Bog has an incredible diversity of spiders, including several first state record and dozens of county record species. Come out to learn a little more about the different species of spiders in Minnesota and spend some time observing these misunderstood critters!

Saturday, June 24

Bog Wildflowers Field Trip

8:00- 2:00 pm Meet at the Welcome Center

If you didn’t have a chance to make our Wildflower Wednesdays, which followed Warbler Wednesdays in May, come out to this field trip to find those same iconic bog wildflowers! The Sax-Zim Bog is a diverse set of habitats with a flowering plant list over 200 species! Bog orchids, carnivorous plants, and boreal forest specialties can all be found in the expanses of the bog. Be prepared for a leisurely hike, perhaps venturing in to the bog at times!

Sunday, June 25

American Kestrel Monitoring Program

9:00 am- 12:00pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

American Kestrels are the smallest falcon in North America and are a ubiquitous feature of open landscapes throughout the state. However, these colorful falcons have become less common through their range due to a number of factors. At the Sax-Zim Bog, we regularly monitor American Kestrel nest boxes… but how do you get involved? This program will give you basic information about American Kestrels, how and where they nest, and how you can help these beautiful birds!

Thursday, June 29

June Naturalist Hike #2

9:00 am-12:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Naturalist Hikes are a great way to explore the bog and have the option to learn about a bog or ask all of the questions you can think of about the plants and animals in the Sax-Zim Bog!  Our hikes will meet rain or shine, so please come prepared for the weather. Bring binoculars, cameras, insect nets… or anything that can help you enjoy a hike exploring the diversity of the Sax-Zim Bog!

Friday, June 30

Tiger Beetles: Gravel Pit Gurus

10:00 am- 1:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Tiger beetles are a colorful and not often observed group of insects that are becoming quite popular to amateur entomologists and naturalists. Often, you find these species very commonly in gravel pits or open sandy areas. Come out to learn a little more about these colorful and fast predators.

 

Saturday, July 1

Bog Specialists Hike

9:00 am- 12:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Birdwatchers often focus their efforts on specialist species when visiting a new area, whether it is montane species in Colombia, or island species in the Bahamas. Believe it or not, the Sax-Zim Bog harbors species just as specific as southern birds! Bog Birch, Pitcher Plants, and even Boreal Chickadees are species that rely on bog ecosystems. Join us on a slog through the bog to find a few iconic bog specialist species.

Native Pollinators

1:00 pm-4:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Across the US, pollinators are in trouble. From bees to butterflies, populations have been on a decline. However, there are ways that you can help stop this decline and make your home more pollinator friendly! Come to learn how to ID some of our native pollinators and how you can help these important insects!

Sunday, July 2

Dragonfly and Damselfly Basics

9:00 am- 12:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Dragonflies and damselflies are a recognizable group of insects that can often be seen around ponds and lakes. Recently, dragonflies and damselflies have become of recreational interest to naturalists and the general public alike. Come out to learn the differences and similarities in dragonflies and damselflies and maybe try your hand at catching a few for closer investigation!

Bog Wildflower Hike

1:00 pm-5:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

The Sax-Zim Bog is a network of habitats, which, in turn, allow for a large diversity of flowering plants! In one day, you could find true bog specialties, prairie plants, and boreal forest staples, all within a few miles of one another. This trip will look for one of the last sets of plant species that will be blooming in the Sax-Zim Bog. Bring boots and prepare for slogging through wet areas.

Tuesday, July 11

July Naturalist Hike #1

9:00 am-12:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Naturalist Hikes are a great way to explore the bog and have the option to learn about a bog or ask all of the questions you can think of about the plants and animals in the Sax-Zim Bog!  Our hikes will meet rain or shine, so please come prepared for the weather. Bring binoculars, cameras, insect nets… or anything that can help you enjoy a hike exploring the diversity of the Sax-Zim Bog!

Saturday, July 15

Dragonfly and Damselfly Basics

9:00 am- 11:00am Meeting at the Welcome Center

Dragonflies and damselflies are a recognizable group of insects that can often be seen around ponds and lakes. Recently, dragonflies and damselflies have become of recreational interest to naturalists and the general public alike. Come out to learn the differences and similarities in dragonflies and damselflies and maybe try your hand at catching a few for closer investigation! If you are interested in learning more, there will be a Dragonfly and Damselfly field trip following this program. For more information, be sure to email naturalist@saxzim.org.

Dragonfly and Damselfly Field Trip

12:00- 5:00 pm Meet at the Welcome Center

Dragonflies and damselflies are an easily seen group of bugs and recently, have become targets of cameras and nets! “Dragonflying” is becoming a popular hobby across the US and northern Minnesota has an incredible diversity of odonates! In the last year, Sax-Zim Bog has held 2 new county records of dragonfly… Who knows what we could find out in the bog! All ages and ability levels are welcome! Extra nets will be available for those wanting to catch a few odes! If you want to learn more than we can teach in a field trip, there is a program prior to this field trip! For more information email naturalist@saxzim.org.

Sunday, July 16

Bog Wildflowers Hike

9:00 am- 12:00pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

The Sax-Zim Bog is a network of habitats, which, in turn, allow for a large diversity of flowering plants! In one day, you could find true bog specialties, prairie plants, and boreal forest staples, all within a few miles of one another. This trip will look for the next set of plant species that will be blooming in the Sax-Zim Bog. Bring boots and prepare for slogging through wet areas.

Butterfly Hike

1:00 pm-4:00pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Monarch butterflies are maybe one of the most recognized butterfly species in the US: they are big, bright, and special to many of us. But there are more than just Monarchs out there! This hike will look for a few species of butterfly in the Sax-Zim Bog and we will talk about what you can do to attract them to your house or garden.

Thursday, July 20

July Naturalist Hike #2

9:00 am-12:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Naturalist Hikes are a great way to explore the bog and have the option to learn about a bog or ask all of the questions you can think of about the plants and animals in the Sax-Zim Bog!  Our hikes will meet rain or shine, so please come prepared for the weather. Bring binoculars, cameras, insect nets… or anything that can help you enjoy a hike exploring the diversity of the Sax-Zim Bog!

Saturday July 22

Bog to Ridge BioBlitz V

9 am- 3:00pm Meeting at the Welcome Center (BIRD trip leaves at 6:00 am)

BioBlitzes have been a trademark event for the Friends of Sax-Zim Bog and this year will be different than most as we will be partnering with Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory and competing to see who can find the most species between two different sites: The Sax-Zim Bog and the Hawk Ridge Nature Preserve! This two day event will allow the avid naturalist and outdoor enthusiast to explore familiar sites with greater detail. Join experts on topics as diverse as spiders and lichens, to wildflowers and birds! A compilation for Day 1 will occur on the 22nd with Day 2’s compilation to come later. More information will be coming about this joint event!

SEE PHOTOS AND WRAP UP FROM 2016 BOG BIOBLITZ HERE

Sunday July 23

Ridge BioBlitz 

Part Two of the Bog to Ridge BioBlitz will be at Hawk Ridge. Details to follow.

 

Friday and Saturday, August 4-5

WORKSHOP: DRAGONFLIES AND DAMSELFLIES

Early Registration: $80

Registration after July 20: $90

Further Details Coming Soon! Stay Tuned!

 

Tuesday, August 8

August Naturalist Hike 

9:00 am-12:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Naturalist Hikes are a great way to explore the bog and have the option to learn about a bog or ask all of the questions you can think of about the plants and animals in the Sax-Zim Bog!  Our hikes will meet rain or shine, so please come prepared for the weather. Bring binoculars, cameras, insect nets… or anything that can help you enjoy a hike exploring the diversity of the Sax-Zim Bog!

Saturday, August 12

WORKSHOP: LICHENS & FERNS with Joe Walewski 

Cost: $80 preregistration; $90 after August 1

REGISTRATION WILL OPEN IN EARLY APRIL…LIMITED TO 30 PARTICIPANTS

Joe Walewski, author of Ferns of the North Woods and Lichens of the North Woods, will lead this all day workshop on Sax-Zim’s often ignored organisms…the lichens and ferns. Spend the day learning about the lives of these fascinating groups. You’ll go in the field to learn identification tips and tricks, and closely inspect our varied species at a variety of locations. We’ll also bring specimens back to the Welcome Center to examine them under a microscope. Joe’s books will be available for purchase! Car pooling. Bring your own lunch, water, drinks, hat, rubber boots, sunscreen, bug dope. There will be off-trail walking in wet conditions. More details coming!

Sunday, August 13

Fall Migration Field Trip

8:00- 12:00 pm Meet at the Welcome Center

By early to mid-August many of the breeding species in the Sax-Zim Bog are ready to head back south for the winter. Many of our warblers have now changed to their drab fall plumage, shorebirds may be stopping through the agriculture fields on their way to South America, and many waterfowl have begun to collect and ready themselves for a long trip south. This field trip will look for migrant species that can be found in the Sax-Zim Bog and may not nest in the bog exclusively.

 ** Currently, Arkola Road between Poplar Road and Hwy 7 is closed! Please follow Hwy 7 south to Hwy 133 and continue to Meadowlands (directions below) ** 

Directions to Welcome Center on Owl Avenue

**Open mid December to mid March from 10am-3pm daily

**Also marked on our birding map

Directions from Cotton, MN on US53…

*Go West from Cotton on CR52/Arkola for 11 miles

*Turn South (left) on Owl Avenue

*Go 1.75 miles (second curve) to Welcome Center

 

Directions from Meadowlands, on CR133…

*Go West on CR133 to CR229/29

*Turn North (left) on CR229/29

*Go North to T at Correction Line Rd

*Turn West (left) on Correction Line Rd

*Road curves North and becomes Owl Ave

*Go North on Owl Avenue for 2.5 miles to Welcome Center

 

 

Naturalist programs are new for the FOSZB, funded as part of a grant by the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation. Public programs are free to attend, but donations are always welcome! All field trips are free for members who have donated $20 in the last year. Membership is $20 and includes free entry to any field trip in a 12 month period! If you have any questions about any of the programs, please contact Head Naturalist Clinton Nienhaus via email at naturalist@saxzim.org.

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