With your help, we’ve protected 524 acres of Bog for future generations!

Field Trips and Events

Spring and Summer Field Trips and Webinars

After missing out on in-person education last summer and winter due to COVID-19, we are easing back into in-person education in the Sax-Zim Bog!

Please note: COVID-19 protocols will be adhered to during field trips including wearing masks, social distancing between households, and capacity limits. Attendees will travel in their own vehicles from site to site. Please stay home if you have any symptoms.

We will also be offering monthly webinars during this season as well! Webinars will be held on Thursdays, starting at 6:30 pm. Previously held webinars can be viewed here.

Field Trip attendance is free for members (those who have donated $25 or more within the past year). If you are interested in membership, the $25 fee covers membership and free entry to any field trip or program in a 12 month period! Webinar attendance is free. You must register online for each of these field trips or webinars.

If you have questions about summer programs or webinars, please contact Head Naturalist Clinton by email at naturalist@saxzim.org.

April 22, 2021

WEBINAR: American Kestrel Research in the Bog

6:30- 8:00 pm via Zoom

Over the last few seasons, you have seen updates following the end of our American Kestrel Nest Box program’s monitoring season through the Bog Blog. This program will serve as a review of our American Kestrel Research program’s progress so far up to the 2021 season. This program will cover greater depth than the similar program Head Naturalist Clinton gave for the 2020 Minnesota Ornithologists Union Paper Sessions.

Register for this Webinar here: April 22 Webinar

Saturday, May 1

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

6:00-10:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center or Wilbert Cafe

Registration limited to 5 vehicles

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! NOTE: Sparky and Clinton will be leading separate groups, your registration will let you know where to meet each group!

Register for this Field Trip here: Things that go Buzz, Croak, Hoot, and Bump in the Night! with Clinton Dexter-Nienhaus
Register for this Field Trip here: Things that go Buzz, Croak, Hoot, and Bump in the Night! with Sparky Stensaas

Wednesday, May 12, 19

Saturday, May 15, 22

Warbler Wednesday Field Trips

7:00 am -12:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center or Wilbert Cafe

Registration limited to 5 vehicles per trip

Warblers! That is what the target of this weekly field trip will be! Of course there are MANY other species of birds to see and hear in the bog during this time: More than 75 species of bird can be expected in one field trip! The Sax-Zim Bog is home to around 20 species of warbler, including Connecticut Warblers, who draw folks from across the country each year! However, grassland species like LeConte’s Sparrow and Sedge Wren, deciduous forest species like Wood Thrush and Scarlet Tanager, and boreal first birds like Black-backed Woodpecker and Canada Jay can all be found! New this season is trying out a couple of Warbler Wednesday Field Trips on a select Saturday or two! NOTE: On some dates Sparky and Clinton will be leading separate groups, your registration will let you know where to meet each group!

Register for the Weds, May 12 Field Trip here: Warbler Wednesday Field Trip with Sparky Stensaas
Register for the Weds, May 12 Field Trip here: Warbler Wednesday Field Trip with Clinton Dexter-Nienhaus

Register for the Sat, May 15 Field Trip here: Warbler Saturday Field Trip with Clinton Dexter-Nienhaus

Register for the Weds, May 19 Field Trip here: Warbler Wednesday Field Trip with Clinton Dexter-Nienhaus

Register for the Sat, May 22 Field Trip here: Warbler Saturday Field Trip with Clinton Dexter-Nienhaus

Sunday, May 16

Bog Ecology and Bog Specialists Field Trip

9:00- 1:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

FIELD TRIP FULL!

Bogs are home to a very special community of flora and fauna. Often, the plants growing in and around bogs are very specialized! These specialized plants often have butterflies and other insects that use them as part of their life cycle and even birds rely on the special nature of bogs. This field trip will hope to find a few of these specialists, along with a suite of other wetland wildflowers, birds, and bugs!

Register for this Field Trip here: Bog Ecology and Bog Specialists Field Trip

May 20, 2021

WEBINAR: Preserving, Promoting, and Protecting Pollinators

6:30- 8:00 pm via Zoom

If you have been curious about supporting pollinators this program is for you! Bees and butterflies get a lot of attention when considering pollinators (and rightfully so!), but what about the beetles, wasps, and other species that pollinate and support native plants through their lifecycle? This webinar will cover the importance of native landscaping, give some information about pollinating insects, and hopefully inspire you to take the next step in creating habitats that will benefit species in your area.

Register for this Webinar here: May 20 Webinar

Saturday, May 23

Butterfly Field Trip

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

Registration limited to 5 vehicles

Bogs are home to a diverse set of plants, most of which have a particularly close relationship to butterflies or moths. This field trip will focus on exploring the diversity of butterflies in the Sax-Zim Bog! Because of the diverse plant communities in the Sax-Zim Bog, there is strong diversity in butterflies. We will hope to find bog specialists like Bog Copper, to southern species like Black Swallowtail, to fast moving Skippers and Blues. The Sax-Zim Bog offers a lot for the casual butterfly watcher, to the seasoned butterfly enthusiast! All ages and ability levels are welcome!

Register for this Field Trip here: Butterflies Field Trip

Sunday, June 6

iNaturalist 101

6:30- 8:00 pm Zoom Based Program

iNaturalist is perhaps a household name for some naturalists and we utilize this tool in the Sax-Zim Bog to help build our understanding of the biodiversity of the region and our properties. However, not everyone is familiar with iNaturalist and those who use it might not understand all you can do with this amazing citizen science platform. This program will be an in depth, user driven, and interactive Zoom-based program for folks new to iNaturalist or those hoping to learn more on how to use this platform! NOTE: Registration closes 1 week prior to this program to allow participants to collect images!

Register for this Field Trip here: iNaturalist 101 Zoom Based Program

Saturday, June 12

Introduction to Nature Photography: A Photo Naturalist Approach

6:30- 11:30 am Meeting at the Welcome Center

Registration limited to 5

Cost: $25/members, $50 non-members (includes membership)

The Friends of Sax-Zim Bog are excited to be offering two photo workshops as part of education programming this season! Registration for these programs will have an extra cost above membership and will be taught by Welcome Center Naturalist Jason Heinen. This course will serve as an introduction to nature photography geared toward beginners and will discuss a variety of tools of the trade, nature photography methods, tips for species identification, all with a focus on appreciation of all the biodiversity that Sax-Zim Bog has to offer.

The course will consider a number of species, from birds, to bugs, to plants… everything is a potential target for our lenses! If you are hoping to build on your photography skills and are also hoping to learn a little about the subjects you are shooting, this is a great workshop to attend! The course will cater to photographers at the beginning of their journey and all ages are welcome to attend these workshops!

Please bring your camera and don’t forget extra batteries and memory cards. Plan to also bring something to take notes with, as well as water/bug spray/snacks as needed. We will likely be walking over uneven terrain, with some potential for getting feet wet.

With questions about membership status contact our Development Director Sarah by email at info@saxzim.org. If you have questions about this workshop, please contact workshop instructor and Welcome Center Naturalist Jason by email at jasonheinen21@gmail.com.

Register for this Workshop here: Nature Photography with Jason Heinen

Moths Evening Program

8:00- 10:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Registration limited to 10 individuals

Moths are a familiar group of insects and can often show amazing diversity in color and pattern. However, since these are mostly nocturnal insects, there isn’t often as much excitement in actively searching out moths. We have documented nearly 200 species of moth in the Sax-Zim Bog and this field trip will serve as a good introduction to moths and moth watching! Plan on bringing a head lamp or flashlight to this program.

Register for this Field Trip here: Moths Evening Program

June 17, 2021

WEBINAR: Moths, Nighttime Neighbors

6:30- 8:00 pm via Zoom

Moths are all around us, but often difficult to observe due to their nocturnal habits. The Sax-Zim Bog’s diverse habitat types showcase a wide variety of moth species, with over 500 species documented so far!  Moths are incredibly diverse in size, shape, color, and ecological importance. This talk will cover basics of moth evolution and biology, introduce identification, and suggest tips for observing moths at your home or further afield.

Register for this Webinar here: June 17 Webinar

Saturday, June 19

Dragonflies and Damselflies Field Trip

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

Registration limited to 5 vehicles

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!

Register for this Field Trip here: Dragonflies and Damselflies Field Trip

Saturday, June 26

Ferns and Clubmosses Field Trip

9:00 am- 1:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Registration limited to 5 vehicles

Ferns and clubmosses are an enigmatic part of northern Minnesota’s forests and bogs. Nearly every trail you walk in a local or state park has a species or two of fern, but have you ever stopped to identify what species you are encountering along the trail? In the Sax-Zim Bog, clubmosses make up a huge part of the understory. This field trip will hope to shed some light on this diverse group, all the while appreciating this neat group of plants.

Register for this Field Trip here: Ferns and Clubmosses Field Trip

Saturday, July 3

Orchid Field Trip

9:00 am- 4:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Registration limited to 5 vehicles

The Sax-Zim Bog is home to at least 14 species of orchid, including healthy populations of Pink Ladyslipper, Purple-fringed Orchid, and Minnesota’s State Flower: Showy Ladyslipper! This trip will cover a lot of ground hoping to find orchids that represent the diversity of the Sax-Zim Bog. This trip will likely involve a little “bog stomping” so rubber boots are a must! Last year, this field trip found 8 species of orchid… Hopefully we can match that number this year as well.

Register for this Field Trip here: Orchid Field Trip

Saturday, July 10

Wood Thrush Woods Field Trip

9:00 am- 1:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Registration limited to 5 vehicles

Our newest property, Wood Thrush Woods, is a great example of a habitat type not commonly explored in the Sax-Zim Bog! This property is home to deciduous dominating forest, with species like Wood Thrush, Scarlet Tanager, and Great Crested Flycatcher calling these woods home. Few folks have visited this property, though a lucky few groups do so during Warbler Wednesday Field Trips. Join us on this exploration of Wood Thrush Woods where we will be taking a look at trees, bugs, birds… you name it! Plan for some hiking on rocky, but level surfaces.

Register for this Field Trip here:  Wood Thrush Woods Field Trip

Saturday, July 17

Sax-Zim Bog BioBlitz 9

9:00 am- 2:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

More BioBlitz Details to come, check back later!

July 22, 2021

WEBINAR: Sax-Zim Bog BioBlitz 9 in Review

6:30- 8:00 pm via Zoom

This webinar will follow the completion of the 9th Annual Sax-Zim Bog BioBlitz! This webinar will be for those curious to how the BioBlitz went and interested in learning the history of Sax-Zim Bog BioBlitzes. This program will also give an update on biodiversity in the Sax-Zim Bog for those interested. 

Register for this Webinar here: July 22 Webinar

Saturday, July 24

Introduction to Nature Photography: A Photo Naturalist Approach

3:30- 8:30 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Registration limited to 5

Cost: $25/members, $50 non-members (includes membership)

The Friends of Sax-Zim Bog are excited to be offering two photo workshops as part of education programming this season! Registration for these programs will have an extra cost above membership and will be taught by Welcome Center Naturalist Jason Heinen. This course will serve as an introduction to nature photography geared toward beginners and will discuss a variety of tools of the trade, nature photography methods, tips for species identification, all with a focus on appreciation of all the biodiversity that Sax-Zim Bog has to offer.

The course will consider a number of species, from birds, to bugs, to plants… everything is a potential target for our lenses! If you are hoping to build on your photography skills and are also hoping to learn a little about the subjects you are shooting, this is a great workshop to attend! The course will cater to photographers at the beginning of their journey and all ages are welcome to attend these workshops!

Please bring your camera and don’t forget extra batteries and memory cards. Plan to also bring something to take notes with, as well as water/bug spray/snacks as needed. We will likely be walking over uneven terrain, with some potential for getting feet wet.

With questions about membership status contact our Development Director Sarah by email at info@saxzim.org. If you have questions about this workshop, please contact workshop instructor and Welcome Center Naturalist Jason by email at jasonheinen21@gmail.com.

Register for this Workshop here: Nature Photography with Jason Heinen

Saturday, July 31

Spiders Field Trip

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

Registration limited to 5 vehicles

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 new county record species in the last three years. Come out to learn a little more about the different species of spiders in Minnesota and spend some time observing these misunderstood critters!

Register for this Field Trip here: Spiders Field Trip

Saturday, August 7

Stream Study: Upper St. Louis River

10:00 am-4:00 pm Meeting at the Friends of Sax-Zim Bog Welcome Center

Registration limited to 5 vehicles

The St. Louis River is an incredible waterway: It drains 2.4 million acres of Northern Minnesota, differs greatly in geology across its reach from east-central St. Louis County to Duluth, and is home to some interesting biodiversity. Rivers are diverse and ever changing waterways. This program will not only investigate the St. Louis River and what it has to offer biologically, but will give participants a chance to observe and interpret a truly dynamic ecosystem. You will definitely be getting wet during this field trip!

Register for this Field Trip here: Stream Study Field Trip

Saturday, August 21

Tiger Beetles Field Trip

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

Registration limited to 5 vehicles

Tiger beetles are a colorful, yet overlooked group of beetles that are becoming quite popular to amateur entomologists and naturalists. Often, you find these species very commonly in gravel pits or open sandy areas. Their large eyes, bright colors, and tenacious attitudes are something to experience! Come out to learn a little more about these colorful and fast predators.

Register for this Field Trip here: Tiger Beetles Field Trip

Saturday, August 28

Fall Migration Field Trip

8:00 am- 2:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Registration limited to 5 vehicles

The last field trip of the season will hope to experience a little of what migration has to offer in the Sax-Zim Bog! Because of the amount of habitat, it can be quite difficult to find birds in the Sax-Zim Bog and this field trip will hope to show you how to best navigate the Sax-Zim Bog during migration. At this time of year birds are migrating, but there might be a chance to experience migration from insects (like Painted Lady butterflies and Common Green Darner dragonflies could be moving at this time of year)!

Register for this Field Trip here: Fall Migration Field Trip

Directions to Welcome Center on Owl Avenue

Though the Welcome Center is closed now (open mid Dec to mid March), the trails around the Welcome Center and the boardwalks at Warren Nelson Memorial Bog, Winterberry Bog, and Fringed Gentian Bog are open to hike and get some fresh air. Thanks!

**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 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

Friends of Sax-Zim Bog is continuing to build and offer diverse programming for all of the seasons! If you have questions about programs, field trips, naturalist hikes, or workshops,  please contact Head Naturalist Clinton via email at naturalist@saxzim.org. Contact Sarah info@saxzim.org about membership questions.

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