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

Field Trips & Events

Field Trips & Programs Spring and Summer 2018

The Friends of Sax-Zim Bog is continuing to build and offer diverse programming for all of the seasons! The spring and summer listings include a mix of public programs, field trips, naturalist hikes, and workshops!  All of programs are FREE. All of the field trips are FREE for members who have donated over $20 in the last year. If you are not a member, the $25 Field Trip fee includes a membership and 12-months of free field trips. If you have any questions about any of the programs, field trips, naturalist hikes, or workshops, and to RSVP, please contact Head Naturalist Clinton Nienhaus via email at naturalist@saxzim.org.

Naturalist programs are funded in part by grants by the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation and the Carl and Verna Schmidt Foundation. Public programs are free to attend, but donations are always welcome! All field trips are free for members who have donated $20 in the last year. Membership is $25 and includes free entry to any field trip in a 12 month period! If you have any questions about any of the programs, please contact Head Naturalist Clinton Nienhaus via email at naturalist@saxzim.org.

**RSVP is REQUIRED for attendance to programs or field trips**

 

Saturday, May 5

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

Max Participants: FULL!

Leaders: Sparky and Clinton

4:30-5:30 pm Early Dinner at Wilbert Café in Cotton

6:00-10:00 pm Field Trip meeting at the Welcome Center

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!

 

Sunday, May 6

Early Birds Field Trip

Max Participants: 20

Leader: Clinton

7:00- 12:00 pm Meet at the Welcome Center

By early to mid-April, many of our early spring migrants are back to the bog, singing their spring songs and defining territories. This field trip will hope to find a few of these early species! Many warblers will not be back yet, however, birds like Sandhill Cranes will be dancing in the open fields, Lincoln’s Sparrow will likely be on territory and singing, and Trumpeter Swans might be back and taking advantage of newly open lakes! Come out and see some of the early birds to the bog!

 

Sunday, May 13

Learning Lichens

9:00 am- 12:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Lichens grow all around us: gravestones, sidewalks, trees, and even old buildings can hold a diverse lichen community! However, many of us overlook these important fixtures of the boreal ecosystem. Did you know that one of the most diverse lichen communities exists in Northeastern Minnesota? This program will hope to shed light on these colorful and important species.

Bog Bugs and Beetles

1:00 pm-4:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

“Bug” is sort of a catch all term that we all use to describe creepy-crawlies that we find indoors or outdoors. Did you know that “bug” is actually very specific to one group of insects? Bugs and beetles are an interesting group of insects that can be as numerous as beautiful! Some of these insects are bold and beautiful, while others might make you turn up your nose. Come out and explore the diversity of the Bog’s bugs and beetles on this exploration hoping to teach the key differences between these groups of insects.

 

Wednesdays, May 16, 23, 30

Warbler Wednesdays

Max Participants: 25

Leader: Sparky and Clinton

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

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: Up to 75 species or more can be expected in one day! The Sax-Zim Bog is home to many species of warbler, including Connecticut Warblers, who draw folks from across the country each year! Join us each Wednesday to find these beautiful and diverse songsters! We will concentrate on learning our bird songs and give you tips that will help you remember them. We will split up into two smaller groups and meet back at the Welcome Center at noon to go over our list and share stories.

**Please RSVP to naturalist@saxzim.org for each Warbler Wednesday you will be attending!**

 

Wednesdays, May 16, 23, 30

Wildflower Wednesdays

Max Participants: 25

Leader: Clinton

1:00- 5:00 pm Meet at the Welcome Center

Just as the beautiful songsters have made their way back to the Sax-Zim Bog, many of the plants that call the Bog home have begun to bloom. If you don’t wish to wake up for warblers, but still need some color in your, this weekly field trip following Warbler Wednesdays might be for you. Species like Pitcher Plant, Mountain Blue-eyed Grass, Bog Laurel, and orchids will be searched for during our outings. Each week will be different, so be sure to attend as many as you can!

**Please RSVP to naturalist@saxzim.org for each Wildflower Wednesday you will be attending!**

 

Saturday, May 19

Tree ID for Birdwatchers

9:00 am- 11:00 am Meeting at the Welcome Center

Ecologically speaking, the Sax-Zim Bog is in the middle of the Laurentian Mixed Forest Ecoregion. This means that there is a large diversity of trees, both deciduous and coniferous. For bird watching, knowing your trees can be important! It helps determine what species may be found where and trees are often used as a reference point to find the hard to see spring warblers! Come out for a short hike around the Welcome Center to learn a few of the common trees in the Sax-Zim Bog and to brush up on your tree ID for birdwatching!

Finding Ferns

12:00 pm-4:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Ferns are an enigmatic part of northern Minnesota wilderness and even sometimes a colorful part of local gardens. Ferns are diverse and often tricky to identify. This program will hope to shed some light on this diverse group of non-plants to help build your ID skills while observing your local ferns.

 

Sunday, May 20

Waffles and Warblers

Max Participants: 30

Leader: Sparky and Clinton

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

Who doesn’t like Warblers and better yet, who doesn’t like Waffles?! Join us for this one of a kind field trip, where we will be searching for warblers in the morning and then enjoying waffles in the afternoon! This field trip will have an extra fee of $10 for each participant, even if you are a current member. More details to come, so check in with our website for up to date information: saxzim.org/events.

 

Friday, May 25

Fermoy Bog Field Excursion

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

The Fermoy Bog is a brand new (for 2018) 40 acre section of property located off of Fermoy Road, which is north of Zim Road and just east of Admiral Road. This property has not been properly explored yet, which means this first field trip could come across something new around every turn! This property has a short trail access to the mature Black Spruce island that marks the center of this property. This should be a fun first field excursion!

Saturday, May 26

Introduction to Dragonflies and Damselflies

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

Dragonflies and damselflies are a recognizable group of insects that can often be seen around ponds and lakes. Recently, dragonflies and damselflies have become of recreational interest to naturalists and the general public alike. Come out to learn the differences and similarities in dragonflies and damselflies and maybe try your hand at catching a few for closer investigation!

Bog Butterflies Hike

2:00 pm-5:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Monarch butterflies may be one of the most recognized butterfly species in the US: they are big, bright, and special to many of us. But there are more than just Monarchs out there! This hike will look for a few species of butterfly in the Sax-Zim Bog and we will talk about what you can do to attract them to your house or garden.

 

Sunday, May 27

Learning Lichens

9:00 am- 12:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Lichens grow all around us: gravestones, sidewalks, trees, and even old buildings can hold a diverse lichen community! However, many of us overlook these important fixtures of the boreal ecosystem. Did you know that one of the most diverse lichen communities exists in Northeastern Minnesota? This program will hope to shed light on these colorful and important species.

Bog Wildflowers Hike

1:00 pm- 4:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

The Sax-Zim Bog is a network of habitats, which, in turn, allow for a large diversity of flowering plants! In one day, you could find true bog specialties, prairie plants, and boreal forest staples, all within a few miles of one another. This trip will look for the next set of plant species that will be blooming in the Sax-Zim Bog. Bring boots and prepare for slogging through wet areas.

 

Friday, June 1

Warren Nelson Bog Field Excursion

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

The Warren Nelson has been a popular location for birdwatchers and “plant-watchers” as well. This winter, the Warren Nelson Bog held many Black-backed and a couple of American Three-toed Woodpeckers! In the summer, this bog has a stunning population of Pink Ladyslippers. This field excursion hopes to explore the lesser known reaches of the property, showcase the new boardwalk, and explore the full property, which now extends to 60 acres in size!

 

Sunday, June 3

Bog Wildflowers Field Trip

Max Participants: 20

Leader: Clinton

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

If you didn’t have a chance to make our Wildflower Wednesdays, which followed Warbler Wednesdays in May, come out to this field trip to find those same iconic bog wildflowers! The Sax-Zim Bog is a diverse set of habitats with a flowering plant list over 200 species! Bog orchids, carnivorous plants, and boreal forest specialties can all be found in the expanses of the bog. Be prepared for a leisurely hike, perhaps venturing in to the bog at times!

 

Friday, June 8

Winterberry Bog Field Excursion

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

A beautiful property, the Winterberry Bog is fairly new to FOSZB and had a memorable ribbon-cutting where a Boreal Chickadee was found! Winterberry makes a strong showing along the edges of this property, and the depths of the Black Spruce further into the property could harbor Black-backed Woodpeckers or a diverse plant community. This should be a fun excursion for those interested in birds and plants, alike.

 

Friday, June 15

East Stone Lake Bog Field Excursion

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

The East Stone Lake Bog is a property that few have ventured out to explore and is even harder to find on the map! This is FOSZB’s smallest property, but has the largest potential for exciting finds as there is a floating bog mat on the property! Floating bogs are a very sensitive ecosystem that could harbor exciting species like Bog Copper butterflies, Grass Pink Orchids, or the tiny and rare Elfin Skimmer! Plan to get wet on this excursion!

 

Saturday, June 16

Dragonfly and Damselfly Field Trip

Max Participants: 20

Leader: Clinton

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

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!

 

Sunday, June 17

Butterflies of the Sax-Zim Bog Field Trip

Max Participants: 20

Leader: Clinton

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

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! Due to the diversity of the plant communities in the Sax-Zim Bog, there is a diverse selection of butterflies from 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!

 

Friday, June 22

Indian Pipe Bog Field Excursion

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

Indian Pipe Bog is named for the healthy growth of Indian Pipe, an obligate parasitic plant, which has no chlorophyll. These plants are an exciting find no matter where you see them! This bog also is a classic example of old growth Black Spruce, with towering trees and a solid carpet of sphagnum moss. This trip is for those hoping to get the full essence of what it means to go “bog stomping!”

 

Saturday, June 23

Introduction to Dragonflies and Damselflies

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

Dragonflies and damselflies are a recognizable group of insects that can often be seen around ponds and lakes. Recently, dragonflies and damselflies have become of recreational interest to naturalists and the general public alike. Come out to learn the differences and similarities in dragonflies and damselflies and maybe try your hand at catching a few for closer investigation!

Finding Ferns

2:00 pm-5:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Ferns are an enigmatic part of northern Minnesota wilderness and even sometimes a colorful part of local gardens. Ferns are diverse and often tricky to identify. This program will hope to shed some light on this diverse group of non-plants to help build your ID comfort while observing your local ferns.

 

Sunday, June 24

Bog Butterflies Hike

10:00 am-4:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Monarch butterflies are maybe one of the most recognized butterfly species in the US: they are big, bright, and special to many of us. But there are more than just Monarchs out there! This hike will look for a few species of butterfly in the Sax-Zim Bog and we will talk about what you can do to attract them to your house or garden.

 

Friday, June 29

Yellow-bellied Bog Field Excursion

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

Last for the field excursion season, but not least, is our largest property: the 97 acre Yellow-bellied Bog. This property is edged in Green Adder’s Mouth Orchids and home to bog specialist plants like Leatherleaf and Bog Laurel. At this time of year, these plants are no-longer blooming, but the property has potential for hard to find orchids or butterfly species that stick tight to the hard to reach sections of bogs. A fitting property to explore for the end of the field excursion season!

 

Saturday, June 30

Orchid Field Trip

Max Participants: 20

Leader: Clinton

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

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 6 species of orchid… Hopefully we can match that number this year as well!

 

Sunday, July 1

Tiger Beetles: Gravel Pit Gurus

9:00 am- 12:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

Tiger beetles are a colorful and not often observed group of insects that are becoming quite popular to amateur entomologists and naturalists. Often, you find these species very commonly in gravel pits or open sandy areas. Come out to learn a little more about these colorful and fast predators.

Sax-Zim Spiders!

1:00 pm-3:00 pm Meeting at the Welcome Center

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!

 

Saturday, July 7

Bog BioBlitz VI

Details coming!

 

 

 

Directions to Welcome Center on Owl Avenue

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

**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 West 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

 

 

Naturalist programs are new for the FOSZB, funded in part by grants by the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation and the Carl and Verna Schmidt Foundation. Public programs are free to attend, but donations are always welcome! All field trips are free for members who have donated $20 in the last year. Membership is $25 and includes free entry to any field trip in a 12 month period! If you have any questions about any of the programs, please contact Head Naturalist Clinton Nienhaus via email at naturalist@saxzim.org.

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