Today (Wednesday, November 16th) is GIVE TO THE MAX DAY…A 24-hour blitz of giving to your favorite non-profit/organization. My organization is one of those participating. We are raising money to build a Birder/Photographer Welcome Center in the Sax-Zim Bog. To see our page, go to

I’m not sure if you all know that I started a non-profit called Friends of Sax-Zim Bog ( Friends of mine, and fellow birders, Dave Benson and Kim Eckert round out the 3-person board of directors. We are dedicated to supporting, promoting and protecting the Sax-Zim Bog Important Bird Area of northern Minnesota. Our goals are 3-fold:
1. Acquire bog habitat in the Sax-Zim Bog of St. Louis County, Minnesota (We are losing valuable bog habitat to logging each year)

2. Build a small “Birder/Photographer Welcome Center” and bog interpretive boardwalk on the land

3. Fund educational/research projects centered on peatlands and associated birdlife

Why is this project necessary?
Sax-Zim Bog is one of THE MOST FAMOUS BIRD WATCHING SITES IN NORTH AMERICA, drawing hundreds of birders and photographers annually (thousands during big owl “invasion” years). [It was recently mentioned several times in the Hollywood movie with Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson, called The Big Year]

BUT the area has no facility for birders, photographers, tourists and locals to get more information, share sightings, warm up, learn about the natural history of the birds and the bog.

Also, there is currently no easy way to access and experience the bogs. A series of boardwalks would facilitate this.
The Black Spruce-Tamarack bog habitat that is most important for the breeding and wintering birds in the core Sax-Zim Bog IBA area must be preserved. The “birdable” habitat that borders county roads is fast disappearing due to logging.

A photo-illustration of the proposed Sax-Zim Bog Birder/Photographer Welcome Center.

Many birders have found their “lifer” Great Gray Owl in the Sax-Zim Bog.