Virtually Live Sax-Zim Field Trip Series 2020-21
We know that not everybody can make the trip to Sax-Zim Bog. It is a remote place in a vast country. But these “Virtually Live” birding/nature videos allow the viewer to experience the birds and wildlife of this precious area. Join Executive Director and Founder Sparky Stensaas on these adventures in the field! Ready? Let’s go birding in the Sax-Zim Bog!
Virtually Live 14 BRRRRdathon 2021 Moose! Birding & Wildlife Photography Grand Marais Minnesota
The BRRRRdathon—World’s Coldest Birdathon episode of Virtually Live. This week we are birding in Grand Marais, Minnesota on Lake Superior just south of the Canadian Border. Sparky is participating in the Wintergreen non-motorized division. We go along with his fat bike birding. But he takes an early morning detour inland into the Superior National Forest where he finds an amorous bull and cow Moose! During the BRRRRdathon we see Long-tailed Ducks, White-winged Crossbills and more. Find out who won this year’s event.
Virtually Live 13 Christmas Bird Count Sax-Zim Bog: Great Gray Owl, Fisher, Short-eared Owl Dec 2020
Sparky’s 35th year as compiler of the Sax-Zim Christmas Bird Count turns out to be a record-breaker despite teams having to social distance. 13 hardy participants brave -10 below zero F windchills to turn up 39 species!
We also find a species NEVER recorded on the count before (revealed in the video). And Sparky finds several owls and gets some crazy cool images of a Great Gray Owl plummeting and pouncing on suspected vole victims.
We find Boreal Chickadees, accidentally film some Black-billed Magpies at the “Bison Farm,” make a visit to Loretta’s grosbeak-rich feeders and have a yummy lunch at the Wilbert Cafe.
Sparky also shares some exciting recent sightings of a Fisher chasing Snowshoe Hare and a Short-eared Owl on Stone Lake Road.
(The Sax-Zim Christmas Bird Count is not affiliated with Friends of Sax-Zim Bog)
Thanks to all CBC Participants: Bill Tefft, Lori Williams, Frank Nicoletti, Abbie Valine, Dave David Benson, Lars Benson, John Ellis, Sparky Stensaas, Sarah Beaster, Clinton Dexter-Nienhaus, Kristina Dexter-Nienhaus, Tony Anthony Hertzel, Tommy Hertzel
Virtually Live 12 Give to the Max Day episode: November 17, 2020
A frosty cold morning in Sax-Zim Bog turns up a few goodies…including a dawn Ruffed Grouse, a flock of Pine Grosbeaks (away from a feeder!), a Black-billed Magpie on a deer carcass and cooperative Rough-legged Hawk. We hike Auggie’s Bogwalk at Fringed Gentian and find an unexpected critter! Sparky also shares what your donation on today’s Give to the Max Day campaign goes to.
VIRTUALLY LIVE BIRDING FIELD TRIP SAX-ZIM OCTOBER 24, 2020
Snowy day in Sax-Zim Bog; October 24 2020
A rare (for Minnesota) Mountain Bluebird is seen, as well as a very late Palm Warbler. We drop by Mary Lou’s amazing feeders to see if the Evening Grosbeaks are around…and we check out her photo blind. Sparky will also take us to the Friends of Sax-Zim Bog’s newest preserved land…41 acres on the Whiteface River called Wood Thrush Woods. We also take a loop on the newly-completed Bob Russell Bogwalk.
VIRTUALLY LIVE BIRDING FIELD TRIP SAX-ZIM AUGUST 2, 2020
This August 2020 episode explores Northern Minnesota’s Sax-Zim Bog in late summer. Executive Director and Founder of Friends of Sax-Zim Bog, Sparky Stensaas, takes you birding in the “slow” time of year. But a couple cooperative LeConte’s Sparrows in a flower-filled field steal the show. We also stop by Nichols Lake/Lake Nichols and bird the bog stretch of Admiral Road where we find Boreal Chickadees, Palm Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Canada jays and more.
Sparky also shows us the new platform and bench on Gray Jay Way trail north of the Welcome Center. And we go on a kayak journey on the Whiteface River where a pair of shy River Otters briefly make an appearance. Stunning emerald green and black Ebony Jewelwing damselflies perch along the riverbank.
VIRTUALLY LIVE BIRDING FIELD TRIP SAX-ZIM JULY 17, 2020
Join Sparky in his Bog BioBlitz VIII exploration in the Sax-Zim Bog! Not just birds in this episode. We find some exotic insects, wildflowers and other exciting finds.
VIRTUALLY LIVE BIRDING FIELD TRIP SAX-ZIM JUNE 2, 2020
This is the “triathlon” edition of Virtually Live. Sparky kayaks, fat bikes and even walks a little in the Sax-Zim Bog during this June 2nd episode. We begin the field trip by kayaking from Stone Lake to East Stone Lake and find one of our latest migrants, the Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (amongst many other cool finds), then fat bike to the Whiteface River and discover some unique birds and flowers in the floodplain forest on a parcel that we are in the process of purchasing. A cooperative Mourning Warbler rounds out our adventure.
VIRTUALLY LIVE BIRDING FIELD TRIP SAX-ZIM MAY 24, 2020
It’s the Virtually Live edition of Waffles & Warblers! Except Sparky has Grape Nuts for breakfast instead. Twelve species of colorful warblers are found in the Sax-Zim Bog…and all are on breeding territory. Golden-winged Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Mourning Warbler, and more. Plus Bobolink heaven along Arkola Road. And Sparky makes an announcement about a new video series. Will this be the last Virtually Live birding field trip? Stay tuned!
VIRTUALLY LIVE 6: SAX-ZIM BIRDING/AUDIO/VIDEO/PHOTO: May 19, 2020
Join Sparky Stensaas on a virtual birding field trip to the Sax-Zim Bog. Highlights include a hunting Great Gray Owl, a dirt-eating Porcupine, breeding White-winged Crossbills, juvenile Canada jays and 10 species of warblers including Magnolia, Northern Waterthrush, Black and white Warbler, tour of the new MOTUS tower and more. Sponsored by Friends of Sax-Zim Bog
VIRTUALLY LIVE 5: SAX-ZIM BIRDING/AUDIO/VIDEO/PHOTO: May 11, 2020
In this week’s installment of Virtually Live in Sax-Zim Bog, Sparky takes us on a fly-over of the little-explored Blue Dasher Bog where he searches for Trumpeter Swans. We also bird Stone Lake Road and Zim Road. Great looks at a gorgeous drake Blue-winged Teal, singing Yellow-rumped Warbler, flapping Sandhill Crane, nest-building Trumpeter Swans and more. Three FOY (first-of-year) species are found including two iconic Sax-Zim Bog breeding birds…LeConte’s Sparrow and Sedge Wren.
VIRTUALLY LIVE 4: SAX-ZIM BIRDING/AUDIO/VIDEO/PHOTO: May 4, 2020
The day started out promising with sunny skies, calm winds and a very cooperative drake Wood Duck, and then it gets even better with some RARE BIRDS for Sax-Zim: the Meadowlark of the prairies, a sparrow not normally found in northeast Minnesota, a surprising warbler on territory, and a pair of grassland-loving shorebirds (Thanks to FOSZB Head Naturalist Clinton and his eagle-eyed wife Kristina!). A very FAT and cooperative “quill pig” is the “Superstar Mammal of the Day,” but what will be the Superstar Bird? Stick around for the surprise procreative ending to Sparky’s Virtually Live field trip!
VIRTUALLY LIVE 3: SAX-ZIM BIRDING/AUDIO/VIDEO/PHOTO: April 28 2020.
Join Executive Director Sparky Stensaas on a 5 hour birding, photography, video tour in northeastern Minnesota’s Sax-Zim Bog. We visit Nichols Lake, the Warren Woessner Bog Boardwalk, Admiral Road willow flats and the Welcome Center. Wild Turkeys in full display, slow motion video of Wilson’s Snipe doing their aerial courtship display, Porcupine eating willow catkins.
VIRTUALLY LIVE 2: BIRDING/PHOTOGRAPHY FIELD TRIP: April 21, 2020
Our second Friends of Sax-Zim Bog Virtually Live birding field trip. April 21, 2020. On this outing Sparky Stensaas nearly drives right by a Great Gray Owl, finds cooperative pairs of Sandhill Cranes, photographs late Snow Buntings and Northern Shrikes and more. We wind our way around the Sax-Zim Bog from 6:20 am to 11:15 am with stops at Stone Lake, Sax Road, St. Louis River, Arkola and more. Superstar bird of the day is ????
VIRTUALLY LIVE 1: BIRDING/PHOTO/VIDEO FIELD TRIP: April 14, 2020