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

Field Trips and Events

2021-22 Winter Field Trips

*** COVID-19 PROTOCOL UPDATE *** All field trip participants will be required to wear masks during Winter Season Field Trips. Because it is not always possible to maintain 6 feet of distance between participants, this is the safest way to continue to offer Winter Field Trips. Acceptable masks include KN95, N95, or double-layered single-ply surgical masks. Buffs, neck warmers, and cloth masks are not acceptable face coverings at this time.

Winter field trips will resume this season. Please note the schedule is not as robust as past seasons and COVID-19 protocols will be adhered to during programs. Field trips will again be limited to 5 vehicles. Attendees will travel in their own vehicles from site to site. Please stay home if you have any symptoms.

Information for these trips is listed below.

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! You must register online for each of these field trips.

If you have questions about programming, please contact Head Naturalist Clinton by email at naturalist@saxzim.org.

December 1-31

December BogDiversity Challenge– Yellow-bellied Bog

Property location and information here. Trail information here.

iNaturalist Project link here!

2022 is the 10 anniversary of the Sax-Zim Bog BioBiltzes! To start this year off, we hope to encourage folks to explore the biodiveristy of the greater Sax-Zim Bog region and to use iNaturalist on our properties and during all seasons! The December BogDiversity Challenge considers Yellow-bellied Bog! This is the second largest property owned by the Friends of Sax-Zim Bog and has great biodiversity. Whether tracking, lichens, or bog plants are your interest, this property offers something for all naturalists during the winter season. If you are planning a visit to the Sax-Zim Bog in December and use iNaturalist, check out this property while visiting and join the project above!

January 1-31

January BogDiversity Challenge– Warren Nelson Memorial Bog

Property location and information here. Trail information here.

iNaturalist Project link here!

2022 is the 10 anniversary of the Sax-Zim Bog BioBiltzes! To start this year off, we hope to encourage folks to explore the biodiveristy of the greater Sax-Zim Bog region and to use iNaturalist on our properties and during all seasons! The January BogDiversity Challenge considers Warren Nelson Bog! This property is the largest owned by the Friends of Sax-Zim Bog at 120 acres. Much of this property is not easily accessible, but it is one of three properties with a boardwalk in the area. However, we hope to be creating a snowshoe trail that will allow access along the width of the property. This is a popular property to visit, so if you are planning on visiting in the Sax-Zim Bog during January and use iNaturalist, check out this property and join the project above!

Saturday, January 8

FOSZB Property Snowshoe Hike: Yellow-bellied Bog

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

Field trip full!

Snowshoes are a great way to continue being active during the winter season and are a great way to explore hard to get to locations in the Bog. Join us for a leisurely hike through Yellow-bellied Bog, and learn a little bit about boreal forests and animal sign present during the winter. Snowshoes are required and can be borrowed from the Welcome Center (email Head Naturalist Clinton at naturalist@saxzim.org to reserve a pair or two).

Thursday,  January 13

WINTER WEBINAR SPEAKER SERIES: THE ART BEHIND THE SCIENCE OF THE WINTER FINCH FORECAST

Presented by Tyler Hoar, Winter Finch Forecaster and Ornithologist

6:30- 8:30 pm

Register for this webinar here!

Every year, birders across the US and Canada get excited for the Winter Finch Forecast! Will there be big finch flights this season? Should I check out my local conifer stands for crossbills? Do I need to brush up on my redpoll ID? This presentation will provide the information and insight into the Art Behind the Science of the Winter Finch Forecast. Tyler will provide an overview of each winter finch species and their current movements. This talk will share a brief history of the Winter Finch Forecast, how it’s compiled and goals going forward.

Speaker Bio: 

Tyler is an experienced field biologist. Over his career, he has studied many avian families including shorebirds, raptors, parrots, and passerines including finches. His work has taken him from the high Canadian Arctic, south to the deserts of Arizona and the rainforests of the Caribbean. His recent work has centered around the wetlands of the Great Lakes and shorebirds staging in southern James Bay for Birds Studies Canada, Canada Wildlife Service, and theGreat Lakes Restoration Initiative. Tyler authored the Evening Grosbeak account for the second Ontario Breeding Bird atlas.

 In 2020 Tyler took over as the Winter Finch Forecaster, from Ron Pittaway who retired after 20 years of providing us a window into what may come each winter. Tyler is passionate about finches and is enjoying the process of creating the winter finch forecast. Some of Tyler’s early childhood memories were of flocks of Evening Grosbeaks visiting the family home each winter. His favorite finches are Evening Grosbeak, Hawfinch, Pallas’s Rosefinch, and White-winged Crossbill.

Saturday, January 15

Tracking and Animal Sign Field Trip

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

Field trip full!

Often, when traversing the Sax-Zim Bog, tracks are encountered. But how do you know if you are looking at dog vs wolf tracks? What is the difference between a hole made by a Downy Woodpecker and a Black-backed Woodpecker? We will investigate the activity by critters in the Sax-Zim Bog through an investigation of the area around the Welcome Center.

Saturday, January 22

Master Naturalist Advanced Training: Winter Birds and Birdwatching

REGISTRATION FULL!

Registration is now live on the Minnesota Master Naturalist Website! Link to registration here.

Saturday, January 29

Winter Finches Field Trip

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

Field trip full!

Many visitors to the Sax-Zim Bog in the winter season come to find the elusive Great Gray Owl. Others come for the more readily seen, bright, and vocal finches. This field trip will not only look for some of these bright winter visitors, such as Pine Grosbeak, Evening Grosbeak, Common Redpoll, and Crossbills, but we will take some time to learn about their ecology!

February 1-28

February BogDiversity Challenge– Fringed Gentian Bog

Property location and information here. Trail information here.

iNaturalist Project link here!

2022 is the 10 anniversary of the Sax-Zim Bog BioBiltzes! To start this year off, we hope to encourage folks to explore the biodiveristy of the greater Sax-Zim Bog region and to use iNaturalist on our properties and during all seasons! The February BogDiversity Challenge considers Fringed Gentian Bog! This property has a short boardwalk, as well as a trail the continues into the bog on this property. As this property has become more well known, there are great opportunities for visitors to help us understand and document the biodiversity at this location! This property offers alder swamp habitats near black spruce and tamarack bog, with rare insects, uncommon orchids, and lots of potential! If you are planning a visit to the Sax-Zim Bog in February and use iNaturalist, check out this property while visiting and join the project above!

Saturday, February 5

McDavitt Road Snowshoe Hike

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

Field trip full!

Snowshoes are a great way to continue being active during the winter season and are a great way to explore hard to get to locations in the Bog. Join us for a leisurely snowshoe hike off of the South Logging Road on McDavitt Road. This location often has exciting tracks, finches, and we will get a good luck at a bog during the winter! We will learn a little about bogs and winter ecology over the course of this trip. Snowshoes are required and can be borrowed from the Welcome Center (email Head Naturalist Clinton at naturalist@saxzim.org to reserve a pair or two).

Saturday, February 12

Master Naturalist Advanced Training: Winter through a Hand Lens

2 spots open!

Registration is now live on the Minnesota Master Naturalist Website! Link to registration here.

Thursday, February 17

WINTER WEBINAR SPEAKER SERIES: REAL LIFE GREAT HORNED OWL SOAP OPERA

Presented by Karla Bloem, Founder and Executive Director of the International Owl Center

6:30-8:30 pm

Register for this webinar here!

A real-life soap opera has played itself out over the past 15 years between over 25 captive and wild Great Horned Owls that have formed the basis of an in-depth vocal study on the species. You’ll experience owl dating, divorce, territorial defense, and more as you learn about their wide variety of vocalizations and what they mean. When Barn Owls started making guest appearances on the microphones, the research segued into passive acoustic monitoring of wild Barn Owls in southeastern Minnesota. Just how common are Barn Owls in southeastern Minnesota? Join this program to find out what we’re learning!

Speaker Bio:

Karla Bloem is the founder and Executive Director of the International Owl Center. She acquired Alice the Great Horned Owl to use in educational programs in 1998 and began studying Great Horned Owl vocalizations in 2004. Karla is now the world authority on Great Horned Owl vocalizations and has given presentations in The Netherlands, Germany, Argentina, Italy, Portugal and South Africa.  Alice’s popularity led Karla to create the International Festival of Owls, the first full-weekend, all-owl event in North America that has served as the inspiration for similar festivals in Italy, Nepal and India.  Karla and Alice testified before the Minnesota House and Senate environment committees to successfully gain protection for Great Horned Owls in 2005.  Karla received the Brother Theodore Voelker Award from the Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union in 2001, was awarded a Bush Leadership Fellowship in 2008 and a World Owl Hall of Fame Special Achievement Award in 2021. She has assisted several authors and filmmakers and has appeared on Animal Planet and the CBC’s “The Secret Life of Owls.”

Saturday, February 19

Winter World of Lichens Field Trip

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

Field Trip full!

Northern Minnesota is home to a diverse lichen community. These species cover nearly 8% of the terrestrial surface of the earth, yet are relatively unknown to most of us. Join us on this trip to get firsthand experience in lichen identification, as well as to learn a few of the more common lichens in our area. During the trip, we will be making small collections of lichens for the Welcome Center or personal use! We MAY utilize snowshoes for this Field Trip (email Head Naturalist Clinton at naturalist@saxzim.org to reserve a pair or two).

Saturday, February 26

FOSZB Property Snowshoe Hike: Indian Pipe Bog

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

Field trip full!

Snowshoes are a great way to continue being active during the winter season and are a great way to explore hard to get to locations in the Bog. Join us for a leisurely hike through Indian Pipe Bog, and learn a little bit about boreal forests and animal sign present during the winter. Snowshoes are required and can be borrowed from the Welcome Center (email Head Naturalist Clinton at naturalist@saxzim.org to reserve a pair or two).

Saturday, March 5

Northern Owls Evening Program

4:00- 5:00pm Meeting at the Welcome Center with Owl trip following until 8:00 pm.

REGISTRATION FULL!

Most often, visitors to the Sax-Zim Bog are looking for owls, but do you really know “hoo” owls are? Come and learn a little about some of the owls that can sometimes be found in the Sax-Zim Bog and the surrounding area. Following a short talk, we will caravan looking for some owls at dusk!

Saturday, March 12

Master Naturalist Advanced Training: Tracking and Animal Sign in late-winter

REGISTRATION FULL!

Registration is now live on the Minnesota Master Naturalist Website! Link to registration here.

Thursday, March 17

WINTER WEBINAR SPEAKER SERIES: NORTHERN HAWK OWL WINTER ECOLOGY: WHAT DO WE REALLY KNOW?

Presented by Hannah Toutonghi, Master’s Student at University of Minnesota-Duluth

6:30-8:30 pm

Register for this webinar here!

The Northern Hawk Owl Project, led by Hannah Toutonghi, just finished the first full field season of tracking hawk owls in Northern Minnesota. We will discuss the species, what we previously have known about hawk owls, and the novel preliminary results of using telemetry to track individual hawk owls throughout the winter season! Please come with your curiosity and questions about this nomadic denizen of the Northwoods!

Speaker Bio:

 Hannah Toutonghi grew up in Washington State, where she found her love of birds and the natural world from an early age. After earning a B.S in biochemistry from the University of Washington, field work became the next chapter of her career. She has previously worked at the Natural Resource Research Institute, Whitefish Point Bird Observatory, Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory, and the Institute for Bird Populations. Highlights from those seasonal positions include: getting dive-bombed by a Northern Goshawk while conducting point counts, banding juvenile Saw-whet Owls, witnessing the irruption of Black-backed Woodpeckers and White-winged Crossbills during fall migration, and hearing Marbled Murrelets in the old-growth forests of the Olympic National Park. Currently, Hannah is a second-year Master’s student at UMD, and will continue her work on researching the winter ecology and movement of Northern Hawk Owls. Hannah also enjoys hiking, camping, photography, and spending time with family, but never parting with her binoculars since birding can be done anytime, anywhere!

Directions to the Friends of Sax-Zim Bog Welcome Center

ADDRESS: The address is Sax-Zim Bog Welcome Center 8793 Owl Avenue, Toivola, MN 55765

[NOTE: THIS IS NOT A MAILING ADDRESS…but put this address into Google Maps or Apple Maps.]

Directions from Cotton, MN on US HWY 53:

*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

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