With your help, we’ve protected 644 acres of Bog for future generations!

Bird Report

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.

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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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