We explored Sax-Zim Bog on February 19th, 2023.
Sax-Zim Bog is open from mid Dec through mid March. Owls, hawks and many other winged creatures spend their winters at the bog. The Welcome Center has maps which I highly recommend picking one up or downloading one from their website. They also list different locations where these winged creatures have been recently seen. There are many locations to drive to throughout the bog to look for birds. Who knew birds were so fascinating???
We started our adventure on the trails closest to the Welcome Center.
Bird feeders are located along the trails. It was really cool to see so many birds up close as they ate from the feeders. I am still learning the names of birds, so please correct me if I am wrong as I try to name the birds we saw. The first birds that greeted us were an Evening Grosbeak and a Hairy Woodpecker.
The clouds drifted away and the bright blue sky appeared. We hiked the trail alongside the creek.
We reached the road and decided to head back to the Welcome Center. A Pine Grosbeak landed just a few feet in front of me on a branch.
The feeders we passed earlier now had many Pine Grosbeaks snacking on treats. I never realized Grosbeak came in so many different colors.
We hopped back in the car to begin exploring more of the bog area. Our main goal for our visit was to see the Great Gray Owl and the Snowy Owl. Driving around we looked up and down the trees trying to spot these owls. We stopped at times to hike the trails along the way. At the Yellow-Bellied Trailhead, many Black-Capped Chichadees were flying around the bird feeders.
As we turned down one of the roads, we saw about 8 cars all lined up alongside the road. People were standing in the road with their incredibly long camera lenses taking photos of something. My excitement was overflowing as we got out of the car. We thought for sure we were going to see an owl. Instead, we saw a small brown creature climbing along the branches. Another guest of the bog informed us of what we were looking at, the elusive Pine Marten.
On our next stop we were visited by an adorable red squirrel.
Even though we never saw an owl, I highly recommend visiting Sax-Zim Bog during the winter months. The staff take the bird feeders down at the end of March before the bears wake from their hibernation.
Our friend, the Black-Capped Chickadee waved goodbye as we left the bog.