[mou] Sax Zim Bog Winter Bird Festival

Michael Hendrickson mlhendrickson at yahoo.com
Sun Oct 21 22:37:59 EDT 2007

During the major owl irruption of 2004-2005 Sax-Zim Bog was ground zero to witness Great Gray Owls and Northern Hawk Owls.  Literally hundreds of birders & photographers traveled long distances to witness these owls and in doing so there were some issues with park cars in the middle of roads, birders parked in front of residences with bird feeders and being asked to leave by these home owners and signs erected along Co. Rd 7 asking birders not to stop to view thier feeders. It was sort of a p.r. mess for birders and the relationships with homeowners and also with the people who use these roads each day to commute back and forth.
  Helen Abramson a wonderful caring woman who lives in Meadowlands emailed me and Kim Eckert during the latter part of last winter on what can be done to keep birders coming to thier community?  I emailed her right away that one of the things that needs attention is the logging issue in the Sax-Zim Bog, feeding stations where birders can get off the roads and view winter finches without being shooed away by homeowners and I added a winter bird festival.
  So last Spring I met with several ladies at the Manor in Meadowlands and presented my ideas on a winter bird festival. As soon as I finished my presentation they agreed to my idea and wanted to get the ball rolling on this bird festival. At first, I thought I was just going to help with gathering field trip leaders, organize trips and help with the speakers but they eventually put me in charge of this festival without any experience on how to get a festival going.  After the meeting I called my good friend Tony Hertzel about the festival idea and he encourage me to not drop the ball on this idea and go with it. I listen and followed Tony's advice.
  Well after several meetings, planning, meeting a lot of people in the Meadowlands community and working along side these wonderful people I am please to announce the Sax-Zim Bog Winter Bird Festival that will be held on February 15-17th 2008 in Meadowlands Minnesota!!!  
  Our speakers are Dave Benson and Laura Erickson. Dave will be giving his talk on "owls of the north" on Friday night which coincides with the release of his book "Owls of the North" and on Saturday night Laura's presentation will be about how birds survive the winter season.  Both Laura and Dave being such good friends basically donated thier presentation fees to be part of the first annual Sax-Zim Bog Winter bird festival!  Many thanks goes out to these wonderful people!
  Tony Hertzel (huge thanks) constructed and designed the Sax-Zim Bog Winter Bird Festival website..   To visit the website click on this URL address or copy and paste it to your browser. Please save it to your favorites.  Here it is: http://moumn.org/sax-zim/    
  * Please note that the registration form is still under construction and will be ready on or near November 1st. 
  I just wanted to get birders aware of the festival and the website. There will be a brochure/registration form in the next MOU newsletter!
  The reason why you should save this website to your internet favorites and visit the website often is because Tony is going to add pin cushions to all Great Gray Owl, Northern Hawk Owl, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Am. Three-toed & Black-backed Woodpeckers, Red & White-winged Crossbills, Boreal Chickadee, Hoary Redpoll sightings on the map this winter season and Tony will be doing the same for spring birds like Conn. Warbler. Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Yellow Rail and other birds that are tough to find in the bog.
  There is a map on the website locating all the bird feeding stations in the Meadowlands area.!!  I wrote an article two months ago for thier local newspaper on how to construct bird feeding stations and that article spawned some feeding stations along with meeting the folks up there and talking to them about thier ideas.
  On the Sax-Zim Bog website is the Sax Zim Bog bird checklist.  With this checklist birders can see the abundance (common, uncommon and rare per season on what birds you can see in the bog. This list was put together by Kim Eckert who spent many hours working on it with help from many birders through out the state. Jim Lind was also very instrumental in the creation of this list as well.  Thanks to both of them for giving us this checklist for the website.
  Please visit the website!  Any comments please reply them to me.
  The winter birding in Sax Zim Bog and the surrounding locations is awesome!  Great Gray Owls, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Boreal Chickadee, Gray Jay, Northen Shrike, Black-billed Magpie,  Black-backed & Am. Three-toed Woodpeckers, Common & Hoary Redpoll, White-winged & Red Crossbills, Pine & Evening Grosbeaks and a host of other winter residents. We might also see a Northern Hawk Owl, Snowy Owl or possibly the rare hard to find Boreal Owl.  I have top notch field trip leaders ready to go, a cater dinner on Saturday night, vendors, sponsors, silent auction and much more!!
  Please please reserve the dates of February 15-17th 2008 for the Sax-Zim Bog Winter Bird Festival!

Mike Hendrickson
  Duluth, Minnesota
  Website: http://webpages.charter.net/mmhendrickson/
  Local Bird Guide
  Lake Superior Birding Boat Trips

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