With your help, we’ve protected 4,206 acres of Bog for future generations!

Bird Report

SAX-ZIM BIRD & WILDLIFE REPORT updated Wed February 1, 2023

** NOTES

  1. Welcome Center is open 10am-3pm DAILY (7-days per week)

**IMPORTANT REMINDERS

  1. Watch your REAR VIEW MIRROR for traffic coming up behind you and move over to let them pass. Snowplows are especially important this time of year…Move over, stop, and let them pass.
  2. PLEASE use common sense when birding/parking along area roads. NEVER park across from another vehicle. Only park on ONE SIDE of the road. ONLY bird from the roadsides. DO NOT STAND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROADS.
  3. Please RESPECT PRIVATE PROPERTY: Stay off Railroad property and don’t turn around in private driveways.
  4. ONLY PARK IN Mary Lou’s DRIVEWAY, NOT ON THE ROAD, and NEVER point your binoculars at the neighboring house across the road.

Great Gray Owls: Few reports recently. Latest reports from CR7 south of Byrne’s Greenhouse. Also reported sporadically from Overton Road, McDavitt, Admiral and CR7. Remember, they can possibly be found ANYWHERE THERE IS BOG. Mainly active at dawn/early morning and after 3pm.

Snowy Owl: No recent sightings. Could show up anywhere in open country in Sax-Zim.

Rough-legged Hawks: All have vacated the bog due to very deep snow. They have moved south in search of thinner snow cover.

Northern Hawk Owl: Continues along Sax Road just west of CR7. Sometimes perches quite close to the road in a snag, and other times is far out in the WMA to the south. Okay to walk in the WMA. Look for a football-sized and shaped blob.

Northern Goshawk:  They are around in the winter, and Admiral Road is a good place to search. Could be anywhere in the Bog since their favorite prey is abundant here: Ruffed Grouse and Snowshoe Hare.

Sharp-tailed Grouse: Sadly the last Sharptail has disappeared from the former lek and feeders on CR229 near Racek Road. Sightings are rare now but best bet would be Sax Road between McDavitt and CR7.

Ruffed Grouse: Best looked for at dawn and dusk when they actively feed on birch and aspen buds. This is when they are active because their main predator, the Goshawk, is mainly hunting in the daylight hours.

Spruce Grouse: Yes! You heard me right….there was a recent sighting in a Jack Pine along Sax Road, and earlier a couple sightings along Stone Lake Road in October (and Nov?). This is a species that is more common much farther north in Minnesota but may be recolonizing Sax-Zim (They were here prior to the 1970s).

Black-backed Woodpecker:  Weeks old report from Bob Russel Bogwalk at Winterberry Bog and McDavitt Road bog stretch north of parking pad. Could be anywhere there are spruce or tamaracks.

American Three-toed Woodpecker:  No sightings in Sax-Zim this winter.

Bohemian Waxwings: More common than normal this winter…and likely to increase in numbers. But they are hard to find since they wander and there are few mountain-ash or crabapples trees in Meadowlands. Also keep an eye (and ear) out for them anywhere in the Bog where they may be finding Winterberries (bumper crop this year.). Seen near Mary Lou’s last week.

Boreal Chickadee: The end of Gray Jay Way (1/2 mile hiking trail at Welcome Center) has had Boreals feeding on suet cakes as of late. This is a half-mile trail that is walkable without snowshoes. Could be anywhere there is mature Black Spruce bog. Pishing and squeeking anywhere in black spruce bog may bring out a mixed flock of Black-capped and Boreal Chickadees. Also at Admiral Road feeders…sometimes.

Canada Jay: Can be found anywhere there is Black Spruce bog. Try pishing and squeaking. Comes to suet feeders at Welcome Center, Admiral Road, Yellow-bellied Bog and other feeding stations with suet.

Black-billed Magpie: Look near farms with animals…and near road-killed deer. Good places to look include Arkola Road west of CR7, south end of McDavitt, Auggie’s Bogwalk and farm fields along CR229.

Northern Shrike: Many sightings scattered about the Bog. Look for a robin-sized bird teed up on the tip-top of trees…or on telephone wires.

Pine Grosbeaks: Decent numbers around and starting to come to feeders. Check Auggie’s Bogwalk feeders, Admiral Road feeders, etc.

Evening Grosbeaks: Many at the Welcome center feeders. Also flocks at Sisu Feeders at the Zabin, and Mary Lou’s Feeders.

White-winged Crossbills: Few reports but they are here. Carefully check out any flock of birds feeding/gritting/salting directly on roadways.

Common Redpolls: Scattered flocks away from feeders. They usually do not come very regularly to thistle until mid winter. Check any road with alders and birches…Nichols Lake Road, Stone Lake Road.

Hoary Redpoll: One reported in small flock of Commons along Admiral Road south of feeders. Conventional wisdom is that there is one Hoary per 100 Commons, so look through flocks carefully!

Snow Buntings: Small flocks seen  along CR5 north of CR133 but south of Arkola/CR52.

Mammals:

Ermine—Seen recently at Welcome Center rib cages… Also near end of Gray Jay Way. Mostly in afternoon as of late. Keep your eyes open…especially near any deer rib cages!

Moose—Cow and calf (and sometimes small bull) seen a few weeks ago within a mile in each direction of intersection of CR133 and CR7.

Bobcat—No sightings in recent weeks around the Bog. Could appear anywhere.

Pine Marten—Best bet is at Admiral Road feeders but only comes sporadically, and is not seen every day. Could be encountered anywhere in the Bog

Snowshoe Hare—Seen at Warren Woessner Bog Boardwalk recently, but could also be found at Auggie’s Bogwalk at Fringed Gentian Bog.

Timber Wolf—One recent sighting in south end of Bog. Could be encountered anywhere…usually in morning.

Porcupine—Could be anywhere. Look for a blob in a tree.

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SAX-ZIM BIRD & WILDLIFE REPORT updated Sunday Jan 15, 2023

** NOTES

  1. Welcome Center is open 10am-3pm DAILY (7-days per week)

**IMPORTANT REMINDERS

  1. PLEASE use common sense when birding/parking along area roads. NEVER park across from another vehicle. Only park on ONE SIDE of the road. ONLY bird from the roadsides. DO NOT STAND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROADS.
  2. Please RESPECT PRIVATE PROPERTY: Stay off Railroad property and don’t turn around in private driveways.
  3. ONLY PARK IN Mary Lou’s DRIVEWAY, NOT ON THE ROAD, and NEVER point your binoculars at the neighboring house across the road.

Great Gray Owls: Reported sporadically from Overton Road, McDavitt, Admiral and CR7. Remember, they can possibly be found ANYWHERE THERE IS BOG. Mainly active at dawn/early morning and after 3pm.

Snowy Owl: No recent sightings. Could show up anywhere in open country in Sax-Zim.

Rough-legged Hawks: Most have vacated the bog due to very deep snow. They have moved south in search of thinner snow cover.

Northern Hawk Owl: One seen this last week along Sax Road just 1/2 mile west of CR7 and (same bird) sometimes along CR7 south of Sax Road near WMA parking area. Usually perches far from the road to the south. Look for a football-sized and shaped blob.

Northern Goshawk:  Several recent sightings. Admiral Road is a good place to search. Could be anywhere in the Bog since their favorite prey is abundant here: Ruffed Grouse and Snowshoe Hare.

Sharp-tailed Grouse: Sadly the last Sharptail has disappeared from the former lek and feeders on CR229 near Racek Road. Sightings are rare now but best bet would be Sax Road between McDavitt and CR7.

Ruffed Grouse: Best looked for at dawn and dusk when they actively feed on birch and aspen buds. This is when they are active because their main predator, the Goshawk, is mainly hunting in the daylight hours.

Spruce Grouse: Yes! You heard me right….there were a couple sightings along Stone Lake Road in October (and Nov?). None recent. This is a species that is more common much farther north in Minnesota but may be recolonizing Sax-Zim (They were here prior to the 1970s).

Black-backed Woodpecker:  Recent reports from Bob Russel Bogwalk at Winterberry Bog and McDavitt Road bog stretch north of parking pad. Could be anywhere there are spruce or tamaracks.

American Three-toed Woodpecker:  No sightings in Sax-Zim this winter.

Bohemian Waxwings: Flock seen at Welcome Center yesterday. More common than normal this winter…and likely to increase in numbers. But they are hard to find since they wander and there are few mountain-ash or crabapples trees in Meadowlands. Also keep an eye (and ear) out for them anywhere in the Bog where they may be finding Winterberries (bumper crop this year.)

Boreal Chickadee: The end of Gray Jay Way (1/2 mile hiking trail at Welcome Center) has had Boreals feeding on suet cakes as of late. This is a half-mile trail that is walkable without snowshoes. Could be anywhere there is mature Black Spruce bog. Pishing and squeeking anywhere in black spruce bog may bring out a mixed flock of Black-capped and Boreal Chickadees.

Canada Jay: Can be found anywhere there is Black Spruce bog. Try pishing and squeaking. Comes to suet feeders at Welcome Center, Admiral Road, Yellow-bellied Bog and other feeding stations with suet.

Black-billed Magpie: Look near farms with animals…and near road-killed deer. Good places to look include Arkola Road west of CR7, south end of McDavitt, Auggie’s Bogwalk and farm fields along CR229.

Northern Shrike: Many sightings scattered about the Bog. Look for a robin-sized bird teed up on the tip-top of trees…or on telephone wires.

Pine Grosbeaks: Decent numbers around and starting to come to feeders. Check Auggie’s Bogwalk feeders, Admiral Road feeders, etc.

Evening Grosbeaks: Many at the Welcome center feeders. Also flocks at Sisu Feeders at the Zabin, and Mary Lou’s Feeders.

White-winged Crossbills: Few reports. Most recently at north end of McDavitt Bog stretch (1/2 mile to 1 mile north of parking pad on west side).

Common Redpolls: Scattered flocks away from feeders. They usually do not come very regularly to thistle until mid winter. Check any road with alders and birches…Nichols Lake Road, Stone Lake Road.

American Tree Sparrow: One seen at Warren Nelson Bog along Warren Woessner Bog Boardwalk near feeders at beginning.

Snow Buntings: Small flocks seen recently at Admiral Road gravel pits and along CR5 north of CR133 but south of Arkola/CR52.

Mammals:

Ermine: Seen regularly (okay…somewhat regularly) at the Welcome Center. Keep your eyes open…especially near any deer rib cages!

Moose: Recent sightings within a mile in each direction of intersection of CR133 and CR7.

Multiple Bobcat sightings in recent weeks around the Bog. Could appear anywhere.

Pine Marten—Best bet is at Admiral Road feeders but only comes sporadically, and is not seen every day.

Snowshoe Hare—Seen at Warren Woessner Bog Boardwalk recently, but could also be found at Auggie’s Bogwalk at Fringed Gentian Bog.

Porcupine—Could be anywhere. Look for a blob in a tree.

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SAX-ZIM BIRD & WILDLIFE REPORT updated Wednesday Jan 1, 2023

** NOTES

  1. Welcome Center is open 10am-3pm DAILY (7-days per week)

**IMPORTANT REMINDERS

  1. PLEASE use common sense when birding/parking along area roads. NEVER park across from another vehicle. Only park on ONE SIDE of the road. ONLY bird from the roadsides. DO NOT STAND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROADS.
  2. Please RESPECT PRIVATE PROPERTY: Stay off Railroad property and don’t turn around in private driveways.
  3. ONLY PARK IN Mary Lou’s DRIVEWAY, NOT ON THE ROAD, and NEVER point your binoculars at the neighboring house across the road.

Great Gray Owls: Reported Daily from Overton Road, McDavitt, Admiral and CR7. Remember, they can possibly be found ANYWHERE THERE IS BOG. Mainly active at dawn/early morning and after 3pm.

Snowy Owl: No recent sightings. One was seen near Byrnes Greenhouse along CR7 weeks ago. Could be found anywhere in open country in Sax-Zim.

Rough-legged Hawks: A few around mainly along CR133 and CR7. This snowstorm will likely send them south in search of less snow cover.

Northern Hawk Owl: Very sporadic sightings. Last one was in late December along Kolu.

Northern Goshawk:  Could be anywhere in the Bog since their favorite prey is abundant here: Ruffed Grouse and Snowshoe Hare.

Sharp-tailed Grouse: Sadly the last Sharptail has disappeared from the former lek and feeders on CR229 near Racek Road. Sightings are rare now but best bet would be Sax Road between McDavitt and CR7.

Ruffed Grouse: Best looked for at dawn and dusk when they actively feed on birch and aspen buds. This is when they are active because their main predator, the Goshawk, is mainly hunting in the daylight hours.

Spruce Grouse: Yes! You heard me right….there were a couple sightings along Stone Lake Road in October (and Nov?). None recent. This is a species that is more common much farther north in Minnesota but may be recolonizing Sax-Zim (They were here prior to the 1970s).

Black-backed Woodpecker:  Only one sighting and this was along Admiral Road south of the feeders. Could be anywhere there are spruce or tamaracks.

American Three-toed Woodpecker:  No sightings this winter.

Bohemian Waxwings: More common than normal this winter so far…and likely to increase in numbers. But they are hard to find since they wander and there are few mountain-ash or crabapples trees in Meadowlands. Also keep an eye (and ear) out for them anywhere in the Bog where they may be finding Winterberries (bumper crop this year.)

Boreal Chickadee: The end of Gray Jay Way (1/2 mile hiking trail at Welcome Center) has had Borealis feeding on suet cakes as of late. This is a half mile trail that is walkable without snowshoes. Could be anywhere there is mature Black Spruce bog. Pishing and squeeking anywhere in black spruce bog may bring out a mixed flock of Black-capped and Boreal Chickadees.

Canada Jay: Can be found anywhere there is Black Spruce bog. Try pishing and squeezing. Comes to suet feeders at Welcome Center, Admiral Road, Yellow-bellied Bog and other feeding stations with suet.

Black-billed Magpie: Look near farms with animals…and near road-killed deer. Good places to look include Arkola Road west of CR7, south end of McDavitt, Auggie’s Bogwalk and farm fields along CR229.

Northern Shrike: Many sightings scattered about the Bog. Look for a robin-sized bird teed up on the tip-top of trees…or on telephone wires.

Pine Grosbeaks: Decent numbers around but not coming regularly to feeders…yet. Check Nichols Lake Road and other dirt road where they may be getting salt off the roadbed.

Evening Grosbeaks: Many at the Welcome center feeders. Also flocks at Sisu Feeders at the Zabin, and Mary Lou’s Feeders.

White-winged Crossbills: Very few reports. Twenty-one were tallied on the Sax-Zim Bog CBC on December 19th.

Common Redpolls: Scattered flocks away from feeders. They usually do not come very regularly to thistle until mid winter. Check any road with alders and birches…Nichols Lake Road, Stone Lake Road.

Snow Buntings: There were a few small flocks in the Bog last few weeks. Check CR5 near Aleshes Accommodations, but my guess is that they will be heading south due to the increased snow depth.

Mammals:

Ermine: Keep your eyes open…especially near any deer rib cages!

Moose: Recent sightings since mid December along CR133 and CR7 south of CR133.

Multiple Bobcat sightings in recent weeks around the Bog. Could appear anywhere.

Pine Marten—Best bet is at Admiral Road feeders but only comes sporadically, and is not seen every day.

Snowshoe Hare—Seen at Warren Woessner Bog Boardwalk recently, but could also be found at Auggie’s Bogwalk at Fringed Gentian Bog.

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SAX-ZIM BIRD & WILDLIFE REPORT updated Wednesday Dec 14, 2022

** NOTES

  1. WELCOME CENTER OPENS FOR THE SEASON ON SATURDAY DECEMBER 3
  2. Open 10am-3pm DAILY (7-days per week)

**IMPORTANT REMINDERS

  1. PLEASE use common sense when birding/parking along area roads. NEVER park across from another vehicle. Only park on ONE SIDE of the road. ONLY bird from the roadsides. DO NOT STAND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROADS.
  2. Please RESPECT PRIVATE PROPERTY: Stay off Railroad property and don’t turn around in private driveways.
  3. ONLY PARK IN Mary Lou’s DRIVEWAY, NOT ON THE ROAD, and NEVER point your binoculars at the neighboring house across the road.

Winter is hitting us hard today and tomorrow so the Welcome Center will be closed (Dec 14-15)
**Admiral Road feeders vandalized again. This is a community feeder so feel free to hang more feeders.


Great Gray Owls:
 Several scattered reports. Remember, they can possibly be found ANYWHERE THERE IS BOG. McDavitt and Admiral have been best lately.

Snowy Owl: A few weeks ago one was seen near Byrnes Greenhouse along CR7. Could be found anywhere in open country in Sax-Zim.

Rough-legged Hawks: A few around mainly along CR133 and CR7. This snowstorm will likely send them south in search of less snow cover.

Northern Hawk Owl: One seen between Admiral Road and CR7 near Sax Road last week. Has not been relocated.

Northern Goshawk:  Could be anywhere in the Bog since their favorite prey is abundant here: Ruffed Grouse and Snowshoe Hare.

Sharp-tailed Grouse: Sadly the last Sharptail has disappeared from the former lek and feeders on CR229 near Racek Road. Sightings are rare now but best bet would be Sax Road between McDavitt and CR7.

Ruffed Grouse: Best looked for at dawn and dusk when they actively feed on birch and aspen buds. This is when they are active because their main predator, the Goshawk, is mainly hunting in the daylight hours.

Spruce Grouse: Yes! You heard me right….there were a couple sightings along Stone Lake Road in October (and Nov?). None recent. This is a species that is more common much farther north in Minnesota but may be recolonizing Sax-Zim (They were here prior to the 1970s).

Black-backed Woodpecker:  Only one sighting and this was along Admiral Road south of the feeders. Could be anywhere there are spruce or tamaracks.

American Three-toed Woodpecker:  No sightings this winter.

Bohemian waxwings: More common than normal this winter so far…and likely to increase in numbers. But they are hard to find since they wander and there are few mountain-ash or crabapples trees in Meadowlands. Also keep an eye (and ear) out for them anywhere in the Bog where they may be finding Winterberries (bumper crop this year.)

Boreal Chickadee: Suet is now in place at the end of Gray Jay Way (hiking trail at Welcome Center). Check this spot since they were very regular last winter. This is a half mile trail that is walkable without snowshoes. Could be anywhere there is mature Black Spruce bog. Pishing and squeeking may bring out a mixed flock of Black-capped and Boreal Chickadees.

Canada Jay: Can be found anywhere there is Black Spruce bog. Try pishing and squeezing. Comes to suet feeders at Welcome Center, Admiral Road, Yellow-bellied Bog and other feeding stations with suet.

Black-billed Magpie: Look near farms with animals…and near road-killed deer. Good places to look include Arkola Road west of CR7, south end of McDavitt, Auggie’s Bogwalk and farm fields along CR229.

Northern Shrike: Several sightings scattered about the Bog. Look for a robin-sized bird teed up on the tip-top of trees…or on telephone wires.

Pine Grosbeaks: Decent numbers around but not coming regularly to feeders…yet. Check Nichols Lake Road and other dirt road where they may be getting salt off the roadbed.

Evening Grosbeaks: Many at the Welcome center feeders. Also flocks at Sisu Feeders at the Zabin, and Mary Lou’s.

Crossbills: No reports that I am aware of. The Winter Finch Forecast 2022-23 indicates there may be a movement of Red Crossbills this winter. No sign of it here yet.

Common Redpolls: Scattered flocks away from feeders. They usually do not come very regularly to thistle until mid winter. Check any road with alders and birches…Nichols Lake Road, Stone Lake Road.

Snow Buntings: There were a few small flocks in the Bog last few weeks. Check CR5 near Aleshes Accommodations, but my guess is that they will be heading south due to the increased snow depth.

Mammals: Keep your eyes open…especially near any deer rib cages!

Multiple Bobcat sightings in recent weeks around the Bog. Could appear anywhere.

Pine Marten—Best bet is at Admiral Road feeders but only comes sporadically, and is not seen every day (As of today, Admiral Road feeders were all stolen…I’m sure more will be put up by birders).

Snowshoe Hare—Seen at Warren Woessner Bog Boardwalk recently, but could also be found at Auggie’s Bogwalk at Fringed Gentian Bog.

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Deer season is over and bird feeders are being placed and filled around the Bog.
Not too many reports yet. But it is early. Stay tuned!


Great Gray Owls:
 No reports in the last month. But it is early.

Snowy Owl: One has been seen sporadically late in the day near Byrnes Greenhouse along CR7.

Rough-legged Hawks: Surprisingly few.

Canada Jay: Now in nesting mode but may be seen at deer rib cages and suet throughout the Bog.

Black-billed Magpie: Look near farms with animals…and near road-killed deer. Good places to look include Arkola Road west of CR7, south end of McDavitt, Auggie’s Bogwalk and farm fields along CR229.

Northern Shrike: Several sightings.

Pine Grosbeaks: Decent numbers around. Check Welcome Center feeders and Mary Lou’s.

Evening Grosbeaks: 50 at the Welcome center on Nov. 21. Also flocks at Sisu Feeders at the Zabin, and Mary Lou’s

Common Redpolls: Scattered flocks. Not many.

Snow Buntings: There are a few small flocks in the Bog now.

Mammals: Ermine coming occasionally to deer rib cages at the Welcome Center. Keep your eyes open…especially near any deer rib cages!

Multiple Bobcat sightings in recent weeks around the Bog. Could appear anywhere.

Pine Marten—Best bet is at Admiral Road feeders but only comes sporadically, and is not seen every day.

Snowshoe Hare seen at both Warren Woessner Bog Boardwalk and Auggie’s Bogwalk at Fringed Gentian Bog.

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SAX-ZIM BIRD & WILDLIFE REPORT updated September 6, 2022

** NOTES

  1. WELCOME CENTER is CLOSED daily until mid-December.
  2. The welcome center outhouse is open to visitors.
  3. 2022 BIRDING MAP AVAILABLE ONLINE AND AT Welcome Center.

**IMPORTANT REMINDERS

    1. PLEASE use common sense when birding/parking along area roads. NEVER park across from another vehicle. Only park on ONE SIDE of the road. ONLY bird from the roadsides. DO NOT STAND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROADS.
    2. Please RESPECT PRIVATE PROPERTY: Stay off Railroad property and don’t turn around in private driveways.
  • ONLY PARK IN Mary Lou’s DRIVEWAY, NOT ON THE ROAD, and NEVER point your binoculars at the neighboring house across the road.

 

SAX-ZIM BIRD & WILDLIFE REPORT updated June 30, 2022

** NOTES

**IMPORTANT REMINDERS

  1. PLEASE use common sense when birding/parking along area roads. NEVER park across from another vehicle. Only park on ONE SIDE of the road. ONLY bird from the roadsides. DO NOT STAND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROADS.
  2. Please RESPECT PRIVATE PROPERTY: Stay off Railroad property and don’t turn around in private driveways.
  3. ONLY PARK IN Mary Lou’s DRIVEWAY, NOT ON THE ROAD, and NEVER point your binoculars at the neighboring house across the road.

Fledgling Season: Late June is typically the start of fledging season in the Sax-Zim Bog, with a number of species tending fledglings at this time of year. Recently, newly fledged Lincoln’s Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows, and Black-capped Chickadees have been making plenty of noise along Gray Jay Way, with a newly fledged group of Winter Wrens bouncing along the undergrowth along the Bob Russel Memorial Boardwalk. This is a great time of year to listen for young Great Gray Owls screeching to their parents to be fed and to observed very short-tailed fledgling Black-billed Magpies in the agricultural areas of the Bog.

Warblers: There is still an impressive number of warblers still singing in the Bog. Over the last week at least 17 species of warbler have continued singing, though they are not singing all day long as they do in the early season. Nashville, Mourning, Chestnut-sided Warblers, Ovenbirds, and Common Yellowthroats have been especially vocal. Many of the warblers that nest in the Bog will be tending fledglings in the next few weeks, so pay attention to the raspy chips of young birds!

Other Breeding Birds: Many other birds can still be found at this time of year, but they are getting much harder to find due to trees full of leaves and bird song decreasing. Stop in to the Welcome Center for information on grassland species, boreal forest breeders, and beyond!

Wildflowers: Summer is the peak time for biodiversity in the Sax-Zim Bog and many visitors have interest in birds, bugs, and everything in between. Starting in July, we start to see an increase in wildflowers blooming, especially along the roadsides, open fields, and marshes. In the next week or two expect good diversity in flowers especially along Lake Nichols Road, McDavitt and Admiral Roads, Owl Avenue north of the Welcome Center, and along County Road 83!

Butterflies: There are a number of species flying right now! Spreading Dogbane is starting to flower and this species will a major source of butterfly activity in the next week or two. Lake Nichols Road usually has great butterfly diversity, as well as Owl Avenue and County Road 83. For butterfly specific questions, feel free to reach out to Head Naturalist Clinton at naturalist@saxzim.org or attend our upcoming Butterfly Field Trip! Registration can be found here: saxzim.org/events

Dragonflies and Damselflies: Late June and the beginning of July sees an abundance of dragonfly and damselflies in the Sax-Zim Bog. Checking boat launches, river landings, and deeper roadside ditches can hold really great diversity. Clubtails can be easily found patrolling the St. Louis River, with skimmers along Owl Avenue and Stone Lake Road, and many specialized Emeralds patrolling bog edges. If you want to learn more about odonates, we also have an upcoming field trip for these species: saxzim.org/events

General Wildlife: It is baby season for most mammals in the Bog! White-tailed Deer fawns are beginning to be more active, bear cubs might also be seen traveling with their mothers, and inquisitive young Red Squirrels are hopping along our boardwalks. There are no specific locations to seek out mammals, but early mornings or later in the evening can be great times to search for mammals in the Sax-Zim Bog.

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SAX-ZIM BIRD & WILDLIFE REPORT updated June 19, 2022

** NOTES

  1. WELCOME CENTER is OPEN daily through August.
  2. The welcome center building is now open to visitors.
  3. 2022 BIRDING MAP AVAILABLE ONLINE AND AT Welcome Center

**IMPORTANT REMINDERS

  1. PLEASE use common sense when birding/parking along area roads. NEVER park across from another vehicle. Only park on ONE SIDE of the road. ONLY bird from the roadsides. DO NOT STAND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROADS.
  2. Please RESPECT PRIVATE PROPERTY: Stay off Railroad property and don’t turn around in private driveways.
  3. ONLY PARK IN Mary Lou’s DRIVEWAY, NOT ON THE ROAD, and NEVER point your binoculars at the neighboring house across the road.

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SAX-ZIM BIRD & WILDLIFE REPORT updated Friday March 22, 2022

** NOTES

  1. WELCOME CENTER IS NOW CLOSED (outhouse remains open)
  2. Thanks for a Great Winter!
  3. We will open for the summer on June 1, 2022

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SAX-ZIM BIRD & WILDLIFE REPORT updated Friday March 11, 2022

** NOTES

  1. WELCOME CENTER CLOSES FOR THE SEASON ON SUNDAY MARCH 13 AT 3PM
  2. Thanks for a Great Winter!

**IMPORTANT REMINDERS

  1. PLEASE use common sense when birding/parking along area roads. NEVER park across from another vehicle. Only park on ONE SIDE of the road. ONLY bird from the roadsides. DO NOT STAND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROADS. 
  2. Please RESPECT PRIVATE PROPERTY: Stay off Railroad property and don’t turn around in private driveways.
  3. ONLY PARK IN Mary Lou’s DRIVEWAY, NOT ON THE ROAD, and NEVER point your binoculars at the neighboring house across the road.


Great Gray Owls:
 Seen sporadically in multiple spots in the Bog. Try along CR7 south and north of Byrne’s Greenhouse (please be careful when driving on this 55mph road and pull off outside the white lines AND ALL PARK ON THE SAME SIDE OF THE ROAD), CR7 about 1 to 2 mile south of CR133, Nichols Lake Road, CR133 east of Blue Spruce and CR133 west of US53, Owl Avenue, McDavitt Road or Admiral Road. REMEMBER…Great Grays are residents here and could possibly be seen anywhere there is bog habitat. Best to search dawn to 10am and last few hours before sunset.

Snowy Owl: No sightings recently.

Northern Hawk Owl: Seen daily along CR7 just north of Sax Road on the east side.

Rough-legged Hawks: No recent sightings.

Northern Goshawk:  Could be anywhere.

Sharp-tailed Grouse: Check feeders at both farms near this intersection (one on east side and one on west side of CR229). Also have been seen along Sax Road.

Canada Jay: Now in nesting mode but may be seen at deer rib cages and suet throughout the Bog.

Black-billed Magpie: Look near farms with animals…and near road-killed deer. Good places to look include Arkola Road west of CR7, south end of McDavitt, Auggie’s Bogwalk and farm fields along CR229.

Northern Shrike: Many around the Bog. Best bets in open country along CR7, Arkola, Zim Road, CR229, and Stone Lake Road.

Black-backed Woodpecker:  One seen along the Bob Russell Bogwalk in late February.

American Three-toed Woodpecker:  No sightings this winter.

Boreal Chickadee: Seen regularly at the suet feeder at the end of Gray Jay Way that starts at Welcome Center outhouse. This is a half mile trail that is walkable without snowshoes.

Bohemian Waxwings: Unusual in the Bog. Individuals seen lately in scattered locations. Could be anywhere there are fruit trees.

Pine Grosbeaks: They have now vacated the Bog and are returning to their Canadian breeding grounds.

Evening Grosbeaks: They will also be leaving the Bog soon. Check “Sisu feeders at Zabin” along McDavitt Road and Mary Lou’s feeders.

White-winged Crossbills: Listen for them as they fly overhead. You can often pish them down. Best bets would be Owl Avenue, McDavitt and Admiral Roads.

Common Redpolls: They are here in good numbers! Hundreds can be seen in a day. Check feeders at Welcome Center and Auggie’s Bogwalk.

Hoary Redpolls: No recent reports.

Snow Buntings: Very few in the Bog now. They may be migrating north from southern Minnesota already so keep a lookout.

Mammals: Ermine coming occasionally to deer rib cages at the Welcome Center. Keep your eyes open…especially near any deer rib cages!

Multiple Bobcat sightings in recent weeks around the Bog. Could appear anywhere.

Pine Marten—Best bet is at Admiral Road feeders but only comes sporadically, and is not seen every day.

Snowshoe Hare seen at both Warren Woessner Bog Boardwalk and Auggie’s Bogwalk at Fringed Gentian Bog.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

SAX-ZIM BIRD & WILDLIFE REPORT updated Friday February 4, 2022

** NOTES

  1. WELCOME CENTER is OPEN daily. Only one group at a time allowed in. Masks mandatory.
  2. Naturalists at the Welcome Center may have a table out front for sales
  3. 2022 BIRDING MAP AVAILABLE ONLINE AND AT Welcome Center

**IMPORTANT REMINDERS

  1. PLEASE use common sense when birding/parking along area roads. NEVER park across from another vehicle. Only park on ONE SIDE of the road. ONLY bird from the roadsides. DO NOT STAND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROADS. 
  2. Please RESPECT PRIVATE PROPERTY: Stay off Railroad property and don’t turn around in private driveways.
  3. ONLY PARK IN Mary Lou’s DRIVEWAY, NOT ON THE ROAD, and NEVER point your binoculars at the neighboring house across the road.


Great Gray Owls:
 Seen sporadically in multiple spots in the Bog. Try along CR7 south of Byrne’s Greenhouse (please be careful when driving on this 55mph road and pull off outside the white lines AND ALL PARK ON THE SAME SIDE OF THE ROAD), CR7 about 1 to 2 mile south of CR133, Nichols Lake Road, CR133 east of Blue Spruce and CR133 west of US53, Owl Avenue, McDavitt Road or Admiral Road. REMEMBER…Great Grays are residents here and could possibly be seen anywhere there is bog habitat. Best to search dawn to 10am and last few hours before sunset.

Snowy Owl: The one near Byrne’s Greenhouse continues. It is often far from the road. Scan the distant treeline and the tops of posts, barns and sheds. It will sometimes hunt from power poles and trees closer to CR7. (Please be careful when driving on this 55mph road and pull off outside the white lines AND ALL PARK ON THE SAME SIDE OF THE ROAD)

Northern Hawk Owl: No recent sightings.

Rough-legged Hawks: No recent sightings.

Northern Goshawk: One occasionally chasing Rock Pigeons at Mary Lou’s feeders. Look especially along Admiral Road near where the powerline crosses. Could be anywhere.

Sharp-tailed Grouse: Flock of a dozen seen flying over Sax Road between CR7 and Cranberry. Also one to two seen near the Racek Road and CR229 intersection. Check feeders at both farms near this intersection (one on east side and one on west side of CR229).

Canada Jay: May be seen at deer rib cages and suet throughout the Bog. Several visit the feeders and rib cages at Welcome Center, Warren Nelson Memorial Bog, Yellow-bellied Bog and Winterberry Bog.

Black-billed Magpie: Look near farms with animals…and near road-killed deer. Good places to look include Arkola Road west of CR7, south end of McDavitt, Auggie’s Bogwalk and farm fields along CR229.

Northern Shrike: Many around the Bog. Best bets in open country along CR7, Arkola, Zim Road, CR229, and Stone Lake Road.

Black-backed Woodpecker:  Latest sightings were about 3/4 of the way north on Gray Jay Way at Welcome Center, McDavitt Road bog, and just south and just north of Admiral Road feeders. It is a permanent resident which does not come to bird feeders. Look and listen along boardwalks, and bog stretches of McDavitt Road and Admiral Road.

American Three-toed Woodpecker:  No sightings this winter.

Boreal Chickadee: Seen regularly at the suet feeder at the end of Gray Jay Way that starts at Welcome Center outhouse. This is a half mile trail that is walkable without snowshoes.

Bohemian Waxwings: Unusual in the Bog. Individuals seen lately in scattered locations. Could be anywhere there are fruit trees.

Pine Grosbeaks: Quite common. Listen for their “tweedling” song overhead. Seen at Welcome center feeders and “Sisu feeders at Zabin.”

Evening Grosbeaks: Up to 50 at Mary Lou’s feeders …and up to 75 at “Sisu feeders at Zabin” along McDavitt Road. A few sightings of individuals at the Welcome Center.

White-winged Crossbills: Listen for them as they fly overhead. You can often pish them down. Best bets would be Owl Avenue, McDavitt and Admiral Roads.

Common Redpolls: They are here in good numbers! Hundreds can be seen in a day. Check feeders at Welcome Center and Auggie’s Bogwalk.

Hoary Redpolls: Several individuals reported in the last week or two.

Snow Buntings: Very few in the Bog now. They may be migrating north from southern Minnesota already so keep a lookout.

Mammals: Ermine coming occasionally to deer rib cages at the Welcome Center. Keep your eyes open…especially near any deer rib cages!

Bobcat that was at rib cages at Warren Woessner Bog Boardwalk has moved on. Multiple sightings in recent weeks around the Bog.

Pine Marten—Best bet is at Admiral Road feeders but only comes sporadically, and is not seen every day.

Snowshoe Hare seen at both Warren Woessner Bog Boardwalk and Auggie’s Bogwalk at Fringed Gentian Bog.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

SAX-ZIM BIRD & WILDLIFE REPORT updated January 27, 2022

** NOTES

  1. WELCOME CENTER is ONLY OPEN intermittently until the latest COVID surge wanes.
  2. Naturalists at the Welcome Center may have a table out front for sales
  3. ALL NEW 2022 BIRDING MAP AVAILABLE ONLINE AND AT Welcome Center

**IMPORTANT REMINDERS

  1. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE use common sense when birding/parking along area roads. NEVER park across from another vehicle. Only park on ONE SIDE of the road. ONLY bird from the roadsides. DO NOT STAND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROADS. 
  2. Please RESPECT PRIVATE PROPERTY: Stay off Railroad property, don’t turn around in private driveways.
  3. Despite Mary Lou’s garage fire, she still wants birders to come! Please ONLY PARK IN HER DRIVEWAY, NOT ON THE ROAD. And NEVER point your binoculars at the neighboring house across the road.
  4. At Winterberry Bog, please park in the parking pad, not on the road if possible.

WEATHER: 18-24 inches of snow on the ground throughout the Bog


Great Gray Owls:
 Seen sporadically in multiple spots in the Bog. Try along CR7 south of Byrne’s Greenhouse (please be careful when driving on this 55mph road and pull off outside the white lines AND ALL PARK ON THE SAME SIDE OF THE ROAD), CR7 about 1 to 2 mile south of CR133, Nichols Lake Road, CR133 east of Blue Spruce and CR133 west of US53, Owl Avenue, McDavitt Road or Admiral Road. REMEMBER…Great Grays are residents here and could possibly be seen anywhere there is bog habitat. Best to search dawn to 10am and last few hours before sunset.

Snowy Owl: One seen near Byrne’s Greenhouse this week. It is often far from the road. Scan the distant treeline and the tops of posts, barns and sheds. It will sometimes hunt from power poles and trees closer to CR7. (Please be careful when driving on this 55mph road and pull off outside the white lines AND ALL PARK ON THE SAME SIDE OF THE ROAD)

Northern Hawk Owl: No recent sightings.

Rough-legged Hawks: Now that the snow is deep, most Roughlegs have moved on.

Northern Goshawk: One has been chasing Rock Pigeons at Mary Lou’s feeders. Look especially along Admiral Road near where the powerline crosses. Could be anywhere.

Sharp-tailed Grouse: Flock of a dozen seen flying over Sax Road between CR7 and Cranberry. Also one to two seen near the Racek Road and CR229 intersection. Check feeders at both farms near this intersection (one on east side and one on west side of CR229). Check feeders especially in the 9 to 10 am hour at the farm on the west side of the road.

Canada Jay: May be seen at deer rib cages and suet throughout the Bog. Several visit the feeders and rib cages at Welcome Center, Warren Nelson Memorial Bog, Yellow-bellied Bog and Winterberry Bog. Should also be easy to find along roads in Black Spruce/Tamarack bog areas (especially in the north half of the Bog).

Black-billed Magpie: Look near farms with animals…and near road-killed deer. Good places to look include Arkola Road west of CR7, south end of McDavitt, Auggie’s Bogwalk and farm fields along CR229.

Northern Shrike: Many around the Bog. Best bets in open country along CR7, Arkola, Zim Road, CR229, and Stone Lake Road.

Black-backed Woodpecker:  Latest sightings were about 3/4 of the way north on Gray Jay Way at Welcome Center, McDavitt Road bog, and just south and just north of Admiral Road feeders. It is a permanent resident which does not come to bird feeders. Look and listen along boardwalks, and bog stretches of McDavitt Road and Admiral Road.

American Three-toed Woodpecker:  No sightings this winter.

Boreal Chickadee: Seen regularly at the suet feeder at the end of Gray Jay Way that starts at Welcome Center outhouse. This is a half mile trail that is walkable without snowshoes.

Bohemian Waxwings: Individuals seen lately in Meadowlands and other scattered locations. Could be anywhere there are fruit trees.

Pine Grosbeaks: Quite common. Listen for their “tweedling” song overhead. Seen at Welcome center feeders and “Sisu feeders at Zabin.”

Evening Grosbeaks: Up to 50 at Mary Lou’s feeders …and up to 75 at “Sisu feeders at Zabin” along McDavitt Road. A few sightings of individuals at the Welcome Center.

White-winged Crossbills: Listen for them as they fly overhead. You can often pish them down. Best bets would be Owl Avenue, McDavitt and Admiral Roads.

Common Redpolls: They are here in good numbers! Hundreds can be seen in a day. As usual for early winter, they are mostly feeding on birch and alder seeds and not coming to feeders.

Hoary Redpolls: One recorded on the Sax-Zim Christmas Bird Count. But often difficult to pick out of active flocks of foraging Commons. Easier to find when they begin coming to feeders later in the winter.

Snow Buntings: Early this week there was a flock along CR5 north of Alesche’s Accommodations. They may be migrating north from southern Minnesota already so keep a lookout.

Mammals: Ermine coming occasionally to deer rib cages at the Welcome Center. Keep your eyes open…especially near any deer rib cages!

Moose cow and calf had been seen along CR133 east of CR7 and on CR7 south of CR133 but no recent sightings. (CAUTION: This is a 55MPH road with narrow shoulders and a fair amount of traffic.)

Wolf/wolves—Pack seen along Nichols Lake Road. Also seen along Arkola west of CR7 a couple weeks ago.

Pine Marten—Best bet is at Admiral Road feeders but only comes sporadically, and is not seen every day.

Snowshoe Hare seen at both Warren Woessner Bog Boardwalk and Auggie’s Bogwalk at Fringed Gentian Bog.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

SAX-ZIM BIRD & WILDLIFE REPORT updated January 17, 2022

** NOTES

  1. WELCOME CENTER is ONLY OPEN intermittently until the latest COVID surge wanes.
  2. Naturalists at the Welcome Center may have a table out front for sales
  3. ALL NEW 2022 BIRDING MAP AVAILABLE ONLINE AND AT Welcome Center

**IMPORTANT REMINDERS

  1. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE use common sense when birding/parking along area roads. NEVER park across from another vehicle. Only park on ONE SIDE of the road. ONLY bird from the roadsides. DO NOT STAND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROADS. 
  2. Despite Mary Lou’s garage fire, she still wants birders to come! Please ONLY PARK IN HER DRIVEWAY, NOT ON THE ROAD. And NEVER point your binoculars at the neighboring house across the road.
  3. At Winterberry Bog, please park in the parking pad, not on the road if possible.

WEATHER: 18-24 inches of snow on the ground throughout the Bog


Great Gray Owls:
 Seen sporadically in multiple spots in the Bog. Try along CR7 south of Byrne’s Greenhouse (please be careful when driving on this 55mph road and pull off outside the white lines AND ALL PARK ON THE SAME SIDE OF THE ROAD), CR7 about 1 mile south of CR133, Nichols Lake Road, CR133 east of Blue Spruce and CR133 west of US53, Owl Avenue, McDavitt Road or Admiral Road. REMEMBER…Great Grays are residents here and could possibly be seen anywhere there is bog habitat. Best to search dawn to 10am and last few hours before sunset.

Snowy Owl: One seen near Byrne’s Greenhouse this week. It is often far from the road. Scan the distant treeline and the tops of posts, barns and sheds. It will sometimes hunt from power poles and trees closer to CR7. (Please be careful when driving on this 55mph road and pull off outside the white lines AND ALL PARK ON THE SAME SIDE OF THE ROAD)

Northern Hawk Owl: No recent sightings.

Rough-legged Hawks: Now that the snow is deep, most Roughlegs have moved on.

Northern Goshawk: One has been chasing Rock Pigeons at Mary Lou’s feeders. Look especially along Admiral Road near where the powerline crosses. Could be anywhere.

Sharp-tailed Grouse: One to two seen recently near the Racek Road and CR229 intersection. Check feeders at both farms near this intersection (one on east side and one on west side of CR229). It is most regular in the 9 to 10 am hour at the farm on the west side of the road.

Canada Jay: Quite active now. May be seen at deer rib cages and suet throughout the Bog. Several visit the feeders at Welcome Center, Warren Nelson Memorial Bog, Yellow-bellied Bog and Winterberry Bog. Should also be easy to find along roads in Black Spruce/Tamarack bog areas (especially in the north half of the Bog).

Black-billed Magpie: Look near farms with animals…and near road-killed deer. Good places to look include Arkola Road west of CR7, south end of McDavitt, Auggie’s Bogwalk and farm fields along CR229.

Northern Shrike: Many around the Bog. Best bets in open country along CR7, Arkola, Zim Road, CR229.

Black-backed Woodpecker:  Latest sightings were about 3/4 of the way north on Gray Jay Way at Welcome Center, McDavitt Road bog, and just south and just north of Admiral Road feeders. It is a permanent resident which does not come to bird feeders. Look and listen along boardwalks, and bog stretches of McDavitt Road and Admiral Road.

American Three-toed Woodpecker:  No sightings this winter.

Boreal Chickadee: Seen regularly at the suet feeder at the end of Gray Jay Way that starts at Welcome Center outhouse. This is a half mile trail that is walkable without snowshoes.

Bohemian waxwings: Individuals seen lately in Meadowlands and other scattered locations. Could be anywhere there are fruit trees.

Pine Grosbeaks: Quite common. Listen for their “tweedling” song overhead. Seen at Welcome center feeders and “Sisu feeders at Zabin.”

Evening Grosbeaks: Up to 50 at Mary Lou’s feeders …and up to 75 at “Sisu feeders at Zabin” along McDavitt Road. A few sightings of individuals at the Welcome Center.

White-winged Crossbills: Listen for them as they fly overhead. You can often pish them down. Best bets would be Owl Avenue, McDavitt and Admiral Roads.

Common Redpolls: They are here in good numbers! Hundreds can be seen in a day. As usual for early winter, they are mostly feeding on birch and alder seeds and not coming to feeders.

Hoary Redpolls: One recorded on the Sax-Zim Christmas Bird Count. But often difficult to pick out of active flocks of foraging Commons. Easier to find when they begin coming to feeders later in the winter.

Snow Buntings: Early this week there was a flock along CR5 north of Alesche’s Accommodations.

Mammals: Ermine coming occasionally to deer rib cages at the Welcome Center. Keep your eyes open…especially near any deer rib cages!

Moose cow and calf seen occasionally along CR133 east of CR7 (CAUTION: This is a 55MPH road with narrow shoulders and a fair amount of traffic.)

Wolf/wolves seen along Arkola west of CR7 a couple weeks ago.

Pine Marten—Best bet is at Admiral Road feeders but only comes sporadically, and is not seen every day.

Snowshoe Hare seen at both Warren Woessner Bog Boardwalk and Auggie’s Bogwalk at Fringed Gentian Bog.

SEE ARCHIVED BIRD/MAMMAL REPORTS FROM PREVIOUS YEARS HERE

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