The Sax-Zim Bog is a winter haven for birders, naturalists, and nature photographers and is an internationally known winter birding hotspot. The Sax-Zim Bog Birding Festival brings in visitors from all around the world mid- February.
The winter months bring in serious birders hoping to spot the elusive Great Gray Owl and other variety of boreal species including several northern owls rarely seen in the United States. Other known winter specialties include the Pine Grosbeak, Boreal Chickadee, Canada Jay, and the Black-backed Woodpecker. Winter species are found from mid-late November all the way into April. Though the bog brings in a variety of bird species throughout the year with summer breeders and migration in the fall. It has over 240 species of migrant and breeding birds on its bird list.
The bog is recognized as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area, IBA, due to its unique, diverse habitats and important migration stopover. The bog encompasses 147,000 acres of mixed habitat of rivers, lakes, meadows, uplands, farms, towns, and private land. The Great Gray Owl, American Bittern, Connecticut Warbler, Yellow Rail, and Sharp-tailed Grouse are all species with diverse conservation needs that are all found in the Bog and benefit from the variety of habitats. Most of the land is public, including properties owned by the Friends of Sax-Zim Bog, Zim, Sax, and the Fermoy Wildlife Management Areas. Birding is primarily done from the roadside though Friends of Sax-Zim Bog have recently added hiking trails and boardwalks to their 524 acres of land.
Owen Visited the Bog in June 2021 with Nathan Goldberg of Red Hill Birding. The Sax-Zim Bog is located just 35 miles northwest of Duluth, Minnesota, and is named after the two towns within its range, The Village of Sax, and Zim, both unincorporated communities in McDavitt Township situated along St. Louis County RD 7.