With your help, we’ve protected 423 acres of Bog for future generations of birds and birders!

Signature Events

2018 Boreal Wings Gala

Humorist Al Batt to speak

Silent Auction, Appetizers, Mingling, FOSZB Update by Sparky, World Premiere of another “Clinton’s Critters”

Sunday, January 21, 2018 (2-4:30 pm) at the new Springbrook Nature Center in Fridley, MN


$35 per person (Kids 17 $ under FREE)

(May pay $40 at the door as well)

Join us and other bog buddies for a night of stories, food, and fun!
Sunday, January 21, 2018 (2-4:30 pm)
Springbrook Nature Center, Fridley, MN

2:00-4:30pm Springbrook Nature Center, Fridley, MN

All bog buddies, please put Sunday January 21 on your calendar. That is the date of our 2018 Boreal Wings Gala at Springbrook Nature Center in Fridley, Minnesota.

Once again, we’ll have a silent auction with tons of fun bird-related items (INCLUDING TINY CANVASSES OF ORIGINAL BIRD ART), appetizers, Sax-Zim Bog merchandise, great conversation, a FOSZB update from Executive Director Sparky, and even a World Premiere of another “Clinton’s Critters” video.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Al Batt of Hartland, Minnesota is a writer, speaker, storyteller and humorist. Al writes humor and nature columns for many newspapers and does regular radio shows about nature. He writes a number of popular cartoon strips that are syndicated nationally and is author of the book, “A Life Gone to the Birds.” He is a columnist for “Bird Watcher’s Digest” and writes for a number of magazines and books. He is a trustee of the American Bald Eagle Foundation in Haines, Alaska. Al hosted TV shows for many years and speaks at various festivals, conferences and conventions all over the world. He has received the Ed Franey Conservation Media Award from the Izaak Walton League, the Thomas Sadler Roberts Award from the Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union for lifetime contributions to birding and was recognized by Bluebirds Across Nebraska for outstanding contributions to wildlife conservation. Al speaks to anyone who will listen. His mother thinks he is special.

TICKETS ON SALE on our website. ADVANCE REGISTRATION IS $35 per person (Kids 17 $ under FREE)

(May also pay $40 at the door as well)


Come early to hike/snowshoe/ski the nature center’s many trails!

Also check out the new building and interactive exhibits.

2pm—Appetizers, mingle, silent auction

2:30pm—Sparky updates everyone on Friends of Sax-Zim Bog projects & enjoy a World Premiere of a new Clinton’s Critters video

3:00-3:45 pm—Humorist and Birder Al Batt takes the stage. His stories will have you rolling in the aisles (if we have aisles).

3:45-4:00 pm—Silent Auction wraps up

4-4:30 pm—Mingling, Appetizers, silent auction.

Email info@saxzim.org for more info…or Call Sparky at 218.341.3350 with questions.

DO YOU HAVE BIRD OR NATURE RELATED ITEMS TO DONATE FOR THE SILENT AUCTION? Email info@saxzim.org for more info…or Call Sparky at 218.341.3350

Many nature-related items to be included in the Silent Auction

This is a Fundraiser for 501c3 non-profit Friends of Sax-Zim Bog to continue to purchase land in the Sax-Zim Bog and preserve it for future generations of birds and birders


BRRRRdathon: World’s Coldest Birdathon

Brrrdathon_logo+Small+400px+72+dpiFriday January 5 and Saturday January 6, 2017


REMEMBER, “PLAYING FIELD” IS ALL of Northeastern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin 

Link to Map of Area you are allowed to bird during the BRRRRdathon

A birdathon in northern Minnesota in January? You’ve got to be kidding! The BRRRRdathon may be the world’s coldest birdathon but it can also be the most exhilarating with the possibility of many boreal specialties in the North Woods. Imagine tallying the likes of Great Gray Owl, Boreal Chickadee, Black-backed Woodpecker, Pine Grosbeak, Bohemian Waxwing, Hoary Redpoll, Gyrfalcon and Northern Hawk Owl in a two-day birding spree! And raising money for Friends of Sax-Zim Bog in the process. Win-win-win!

Beginning with the 2018 BRRRRdathon, we’ll have a points system in place. Basically, the rarer the species, or the harder the species is to find and see, the more points it will be worth. See the linked PDF for the points for each species.

Link to New Species Points System

But the two-day event requires some serious strategizing to maximize your species list. And the playing field is large…all of northeastern Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. Most species tallied in the two-days wins.

We also have a One-day BRRRRdathon category, and for the hardy (or just plain foolhardy)[1-day participation can be either Friday or Saturday] a Wintergreen event where all birding must be done via non-motorized travel modes (dogsled? snowshoe? bicycle?).

All participants are invited to an awards and compilation dinner on Saturday evening where great food and surprising prizes are awarded. Winning teams get the honor of having their name memorialized on “Gary the Great Gray Owl,” a solid granite sculpture by Minnesota artist Keith Raivo.

**COMPILATION DINNER/POTLUCK WILL BE AT DULUTH FOLK SCHOOL IN 2018. 1917 West Superior Street, Duluth. Begins after dark…About 5pm.

$25 per person per event. This entry fee includes a one-year Friends of Sax-Zim Bog membership (including free field trips for one year!)


Register and Pay here

More information

Bog to Ridge BioBlitz VI

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Clinton+Nienhaus+Fishes+Bog+BioBlitz+III+IMG_0302+copyThe concept of a bioblitz started a couple decades ago…and for a noble but bittersweet reason; teams of biologists (ornithologists, mammalogists, botanists, lichenologists and so on) were sent to tracts of rainforest jungle that were on the verge of destruction; their mission was to record every living species and every bit of natural history they could before it was lost to humanity forever. The concept evolved in North America to become an educational event where the public can go in the field with a specialist in any one of many disciplines and record what they find and learn about it at the same time.

Friends of Sax-Zim Bog has made this an annual summer event. In 2017 we hosted over 40 folks who went in the field to learn about birds, orchids, butterflies, dragonflies, spiders, moths, wildflowers, fishes and bog ecology. Over 400 species were recorded on that single day in July!







Sax-Zim Bog Winter Bird Festival

This weekend festival is hosted by the Toivola Meadowlands Development Board. It is a full 3-day weekend of field trips, good food, world-class speakers and excellent field trips. It is always held during President’s Day Weekend. Friends of Sax-Zim Bog coordinates the field trips and speakers.

More information at the Bird Festival Website

Things that go Bump, Croak, Hoot & Bump in the Night

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 a evening in early May we listen for the three early frog species, American Bittern, Wilson’s Snipe and search for Great Gray Owls and end with a visit to a “peenting ground” of the American Woodcock. You never know what these late-afternoon-to-dark trips might turn up!

Field Trips

Several field trips are held throughout the year. All are FREE to members (those who’ve donated $20 or more during the last 12-months). Most are birding trips but we hope to add other specialized field trips in the near future. These guided car-caravan tours are a great introduction to the Sax-Zim Bog.

Field trips are posted on our events calendar, on Facebook, and in our e-Newsletter.


Directions to Welcome Center on Owl Avenue

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

**Also marked on our birding map

 ** 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 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 East 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



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