Find your way around
- Download 2022 Sax Zim Bog Birding Map (pdf)
- Download 2023 Sax Zim Bog Birding Map (jpeg)
- View the Winter Auto Tour Description (pdf)
- View the Winter Auto Tour Description (Word)
- Download Winter Auto Tour Map (pdf)
Latest Bird & Wildlife Reports
Start checking birds off…
Hire a Guide
Interested in hiring a guide? The Friends of Sax Zim Bog recommends contacting:
JUDD BRINK (Sax-Zim Bog, Aitkin County, Brainerd Lakes area)
Availability: All seasons for Sax-Zim Bog. Aitkin County, Brainerd Lakes Area available upon request year round. Guiding experience: 12 years with the birding festival and private guiding at Sax-Zim. Feeding and watching birds/wildlife for over 30 years in Minnesota! Have a B.S. in Natural Resources Management, Owner/Guide of MN Backyard Birds (Birdscaping), President of Bee-Nay-She Bird Council, Board Member of Brainerd Audubon Society, Master Naturalist, Minnesota Ivory Billed Woodpecker Research Team in 2011. Traveled/Birding ( Alaska, Costa Rica, Iceland and Ecuador in 2022!
218-838-4784 (call or text)
**Video link below of Judd in action guiding in the Sax-Zim Bog [starts at 6:56 in the episode]:
Judd Brink guiding segment on PBS show Making it Up North
KYLE TE POEL—Next Bend Birding Tours
Professional naturalist-led tours in Minnesota and nationwide since 2008
Kyle Te Poel (Next Bend Birding Tours) offers year-round birding tours in the Sax-Zim Bog, throughout Minnesota, and in over a dozen other states. Kyle is a professional naturalist with a Masters in Education, and prides himself not only in finding birds and other wildlife for his clients, but in ensuring his tours are informative and fun for all ages. Whether you’re a novice or an expert, photographer or birder, or just someone who likes to explore new places, you’re in good hands. Communication and customer service are top notch from first contact to the end of the tour. Next Bend is a conservation-minded organization, and donates 10% of all gross income from Sax-Zim tours to the Friends of the Sax-Zim Bog’s “Acres for Owls” land preservation project (as well as a minimum of $1,500 annually to the American Bird Conservancy). Kyle works with you to create a customized tour based on your needs, “wish list,” and schedule, and provides driving services, snacks, and a post-trip summary write-up & bird list at no extra charge. In order to provide an intimate experience, Kyle’s tours are best suited for small groups or individuals, but large groups are also welcome. Kyle is fully vaccinated and wears a mask in his vehicle during tours.
507-358-8810 (call or text)
https://kyletepoel.crevado.com/minnesota-birding-guide (reviews at bottom of page!)
Trip Advisor (search Next Bend Birding)
GREGG SEVERSON (Sax-Zim and Twin Cities; Birding Bike Trips, Birding & Beer Bus Trips)
**GREGG IS NOW FULLY-BOOKED FOR WINTER 2022-23.
Gregg loves birding, and also spending social time with other birders and naturalists. He is excited to share the exceptional birds and other wildlife of Sax-Zim and the rest of MN with his clients. He was a guide for the Sax-Zim Winter Birding Festival for many years and loves to vicariously experience other birders’ lifer highs! Gregg mostly guides Friday-Sunday, in every season. He takes lots of photos with his Canon P900 and has a special interest in audio recordings of birds. Gregg co-organizes MN Global Birding presentations and happily discusses international birding. Feel free to ask about recommendations for good breweries, cideries, and distilleries in the area, as well as other cultural or natural attractions. Fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19.
612-568-5272 (call or text)
KIM RISEN—Naturescape Tours
218-839-0517 (call or text)
CLINTON DEXTER-NIENHAUS (Friends of Sax-Zim Bog Head Naturalist)
Limited guiding availability winter 2022-23; Larger groups (5 or more) only, with 4 hour minimum.
Guiding not limited to birds! All parts of the natural world considered.
$60 per hour for 4-5 folks (=$15/$12 per hour per person)
$75 per hour for groups of 6-10 folks
$85 per hour for groups of 11-19 folks
$100 per hour for groups of 20 or more
**ERIK IS NOW FULLY-BOOKED FOR WINTER 2022-23.
262-408-8892 (call or text)
**10% of Erik’s gross from guiding in Sax-Zim Bog will be donated to Friends of Sax-Zim Bog
FOSZB Bird Feeding Station Statement
Friends of Sax-Zim Bog has created bird and mammal feeding stations at the Welcome Center/Gray Jay Way, Winterberry Bog, Fringed Gentian Bog and Yellow-bellied Bog. These are the only feeding stations we manage in Sax-Zim Bog. The placed food is carefully selected and benefits the birds, but the feeders also benefit all visitors who enjoy watching and photographing our boreal wildlife.
We will actively monitor all bird feeding stations associated with our FOSZB properties to ensure a safe and ethically-minded environment is maintained for all wildlife. Friends of Sax-Zim Bog reserves the right to take any and all appropriate action at our bird feeder stations if conditions arise which may jeopardize safety of the birds and mammals utilizing them. As a land preservation organization, we value visitor experiences at our properties but must balance this with our responsibility to the land and its inhabitants.
*We ask visitors to not place any bird feed in any of our feeders on FOSZB properties. We have staff and volunteers who fill our feeders with approved bird food. In lieu of donating bird seed, please consider making a designated donation via our website or at the Welcome Center.
Birding/Photography Etiquette reminder
First of all, this is YOUR Bog! It is not our Bog. And we all want to have a pleasant experience here.
The majority of the Sax-Zim Bog is public land (County, State, etc) with many private lands as well. Friends of Sax-Zim Bog only owns and manages 524 acres on nine tracts.
We are NOT the police of the Bog. Everyone must take responsibility for their own behavior. Much of this is just common sense and common courtesy.
BE A FRIEND OF WILDLIFE
- WELFARE & SAFETY OF ALL WILDLIFE COMES FIRST…OUR PHOTO/VIDEO COMES SECOND! EVERY TIME.
- Use common sense to not unduly disturb wildlife.
- Winter is a tough time for all critters, so avoid interrupting their survival strategies. All wildlife needs food (calories) and rest. (e.g. don’t repeatedly disturb a critter as it tries to hunt and get calories; don’t throw things at a critter so it looks at you or flies; do not tease owls with fur on a a string or a mouse in a cage…the owl spends energy with no caloric reward; avoid disturbing roosting nocturnal species which are sleeping)
- Contribute bird seed, peanut butter, suet to the public feeder on Admiral Road (this is YOUR feeder…nobody manages this feeding station)
- Speeding after fleeing wildlife in your car is a bad idea. The critter is expending valuable calories by running at top speed.
BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR
- Watch your rear view mirror when driving the roads…Please pull over so others going faster can safely pass.
- When you do stop to observe or photograph wildlife, etc, please pull over to the side of the road (But be careful in winter that you don’t pull over too far and get stuck in the ditch!)
- Do not pull over and park across from another parked vehicle. The space between the two cars is usually too narrow for other traffic to get through at normal speeds.
- Avoid pointing binoculars and scopes and cameras at any dwelling. How would you like it if you looked out your picture window in the morning and saw folks staring at you?
- Private property is private property. Do not step on any land unless you know it is public land.
BE KIND AND COURTEOUS
- Respect other visitors and locals.
- If someone is already watching/photographing an owl or other wildlife, stay back…stay behind them and remain quiet. They were there first. Or ask if you can join them.
- Keep voices low when a group is watching/photographing a bird or mammal.
- Turn off your car engine when observing wildlife or feeders at close range.
- Don’t walk in front of those watching/photographing wildlife.
Let’s all use common sense and common courtesy and have a good time out there! The Sax-Zim Bog is a wonderful place full of amazing “bogdiversity” that is ours to discover and enjoy.
Here are some other links to Ethics Statements on wildlife/bird viewing/photography from other conservation groups:
North American Nature Photography Association
American Birding Association Code of Birding Ethics
Audubon’s Guide to Ethical Bird Photography