Jackson Audubon Society

 The Audubon Society of Jackson County, Michigan

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  • Thursday, December 07, 2017 9:27 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Elizabeth Dell, the State Coordinator in Michigan for Citizens’ Climate Lobby,  has sent an invitation to Jackson Audubon members to learn about this organization on Monday, 12/11.   Citizens’ Climate Lobby, is a non-partisan, grassroots advocacy organization with over 450 volunteer-led chapters dedicated to generating the political will for effective national policies to address climate change. We have 16 chapters in Michigan and are hoping to organize one in Jackson so we can more effectively work with Rep. Walberg’s office. 

    This coming Monday, two volunteers will be presenting about their work at the Carnegie Library. The local Sierra Club chapter is hosting. 

    More information is available at their Facebook page.

  • Tuesday, November 28, 2017 5:58 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    The world renowned UofM bird skins collection moved this year to a remodeled facility south of town on Varsity Dr.  The Tuesday Group visited the facility and received a tour from Janet Hinshaw, the Bird Division Collection Manager.  

    This facility now contains all the vertebrate and non-vertebrate animal collections and library.  While the move is not yet complete, most of the collection specimens are in place and accessible to researchers. 

    Janet showed the group samples of accipiters and thrushes to see size and plumage differences between these easily confused species.   

    We also got a chance to see some species that most of us will likely not see in our lifetimes including secretary bird, Steller's Seas Eagle, and a few drawers of penguins.  We finished with a look through the 'extinct taxa' section.  There are some excellent mounts of passenger pigeon and Labrador duck.  

  • Monday, November 20, 2017 9:47 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Crane counters observed 4 cranes landing in the marsh and 65 flybys.  With this cold weather the marsh is expected to be frozen next week so this will probably be the last count of the year.

    Haehnle Sanctuary is open year-round.  We are plowing the parking lot after heavy snows, so you can enjoy the property throughout the winter.

    Don’s eBird checklist of 18 species is available at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S40633278

    Crane counters:   Ross Green, Don Henise, and Gary Siegrist
    Compiler:  Don Henise
    Submitted by Steve Jerant

    Crane Count-4, ~65 observed flying in area
    Species count-18

    You can view past postings and historical crane counting data at http://www.haehnlesanctuary.org/crane-count.

  • Wednesday, November 15, 2017 5:09 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    We picked the one good day for weather this week and enjoyed a beautiful morning on Watkins lake SP.  Twelve members of JAS met to view wildfowl and other birds in the area.  

    This lake rarely disappoints.  In addition to the usual species, there were 4 winter plumage Bonaparte's Gulls flying about and screeching overhead.  Several great blue herons and a belted kingfisher were still fishing.  The water is still wide open and there were over 3,000 ducks and geese on the lake.


    Some of the party ate breakfast/lunch at Linda's Diner on M-52, just  south of Pleasant lake Rd.  The homemade cinnamon rolls were excellent.

    Our eBird checklist (without quantities) is available at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S40525378

    If you've not yet visited since this gem has become a Michigan and Washtenaw County park, you should come on over.  There is a parking lot and lots of walking trails available.  Michigan DNR info available HERE.

  • Monday, November 13, 2017 8:55 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Crane observations were few this evening but our northern shrike remained on his perch keeping us company.  A few whitetail deer, including 2 bucks, popped out of the fen for a look at us.  They seemed a bit anxious, not sure why…

    Blackbird counts are coming down into low three figures from flocks of thousands in earlier weeks. and our first American tree swallow sighting is telling us the season is winding down.  The water in Mud Lake Marsh is still liquid and temperatures will be above freezing so we will continue counts next week.

    My eBird checklist of 26 species is available at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S40494350

    Crane counters:   Ross Green, Don Henise, and Gary Siegrist
    Compiler:  Steve Jerant
    Submitted by Steve Jerant

    Crane Count-0, ~100 observed flying in area
    Species count-26

    You can view past postings and historical crane counting data at http://www.haehnlesanctuary.org/crane-count 

  • Tuesday, November 07, 2017 6:39 AM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    About 150 cranes were seen flying to the north of Mud Lake Marsh but none landed in the Sanctuary this evening.  High water levels are likely the cause of low numbers of cranes roosting in the marsh.  We did have a good sunset and several bald eagle sightings.  A great blue hereon and a greater yellowlegs tells us the season is not yet over.

    My eBird checklist of 33 species is available at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S40356398

    Crane counters:   Ross Green, Don & Robyn Henise, and Gary Siegrist
    Compiler:  Steve Jerant
    Submitted by Steve Jerant

    Crane Count-0, ~150 observed flying in area
    Species count-33

    You can view past postings and historical crane counting data at http://www.haehnlesanctuary.org/crane-count


  • Tuesday, October 24, 2017 3:26 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Call to Action!

    Jackson Audubon opposes the proposed Sandhill Crane hunt in Michigan.

    • On October 11, the Michigan House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee voted 5 to 4 to pass House Resolution (HR) 154, which encourages the Michigan Natural Resources Commission to open a recreational sandhill crane hunting season.
    • On October 18, HR 154 was passed in the House.
    • Contact the Natural Resources Commission at 517-284-6237 nrc@michigan.gov to oppose HR 154.

    Since its inception in 1904, the Michigan Audubon community has consistently supported and worked for the protection of native bird species. 

    • Sandhill cranes are a distinctive species and are models of fidelity and longevity.
    • They hold the record as the oldest living bird species.
    • As residents of the Jackson area, we have a special association with cranes.  Casper “Cap Haehnle, an avid hunter, deeded his property, now called the Phyllis Haehnle Memorial Sanctuary, for permanent protection for birds and other wildlife to Michigan Audubon. It has grown to over 1000 acres and has become a regional destination for tourists and birders, especially in the autumn. 

    The economic benefits from crane viewing.

    • Michigan Audubon, including Haehnle, participated in a study on the value of cranes for tourism a few years ago. The number of crane watchers far outnumbers the potential number of crane hunters.
    • The visitor registry at Haehnle Sanctuary continually records visitors from across the US and other countries.
    • Undoubtedly, hunting related dollars have had a positive impact on all wildlife in Michigan.  But current trends suggest more and more that wildlife watchers are enjoying non-hunting forms of recreation and these citizens are willing to spend their dollars to do so.
    • We question the effect hunting cranes will have on the Sanctuary and tourism in Jackson & Calhoun counties.

    Crane population and hunting

    • In 1931, there were only 17 pairs of sandhill cranes in the lower peninsula.  While the bird’s population has recovered, and they are now abundant throughout the Mississippi flyway, we should celebrate this conservation success story rather than risk repeating past mistakes.
    • After years of increasing, the fall population index of cranes in Michigan has leveled off since 2009.  
    • Cranes have one of the lowest recruitment rates, meaning they reproduce at low numbers. 
    • While we recognize that sandhill cranes inflict localized crop damage, it is not widespread. Michigan has already established successful management tools for agricultural stakeholders experiencing issues with this bird.  


  • Monday, October 23, 2017 8:50 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    It was a dark and stormy evening…

    Don, Ross, and I enjoyed close company huddled under the kiosk tonight as 340 cranes came into the Sanctuary.  We had the most flyovers that I’ve seen this year, which is ironic as we could not look up as we were under the kiosk. 

    Visibility was bit limited but we felt pretty comfortable about the crane count. The other species count were low, but we did get a snow goose, 10 great egrets, and several big flocks of robins.  We normally get lots of blackbirds stirring in the marsh and beyond, but we had multiple flybys of European starlings doing their amazing flocking behaviour.    

    My eBird checklist of 25 species is available at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S40092549

    Crane counters:   Ross Green, and Don Henise
    Compiler:  Steve Jerant
    Submitted by Steve Jerant

    Crane Count-340
    Species count-25

    You can view past postings and historical crane counting data athttp://www.haehnlesanctuary.org/crane-count 



  • Tuesday, October 17, 2017 5:00 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Ten members of Jackson Audubon traveled south to Ohio to experience the old growth forest of Goll Woods.  This natural area contains many unique tree species as well as some very old and large specimens. Bill Sonnett lead the group through this forest showing us the many species of hickory and oak in abundance.  In addition, we saw Paw Paw, Bladdernut, and Hackberry.


    For more information on this fantastic destination, visit  http://naturepreserves.ohiodnr.gov/gollwoods,

  • Monday, October 16, 2017 9:27 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    We enjoyed a beautiful autumn evening at the Sanctuary today.  The colors are coming into peak, which unfortunately is more than I can say about the crane counts.  Recent rain is likely causing the low numbers.  Great Egrets continue to come into the sanctuary as do many ducks and thousands of blackbirds.


    My eBird checklist of 40 species is available at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S39966798

    Crane counters:    Gary Siegrist, Ross Green, and Don Henise
    Compiler:  Steve Jerant
    Submitted by Steve Jerant

    Crane Count-155
    Species count-40

    You can view past postings and historical crane counting data at http://www.haehnlesanctuary.org/crane-count 

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