Jackson Audubon Society

 The Audubon Society of Jackson County, Michigan

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  • Tuesday, January 28, 2020 1:14 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Fourteen JAS members came out on Tuesday for our annual Haehnle Sanctuary winter tour and a search for the elusive Golden Eagle.  Gary Siegrist, Haehnle's director, was on hand for a guided tour of the grounds.  After a brief history of the sanctuary we walked the nature trail past winter stands of native grasses and into the woods. 

    Several habitat restoration projects are underway and Gary provided insight into the process and showed results of the work.  We walked out the prairie in the back of the preserve and saw results of a recent burn and planting.

    After the Haehnle walk, we drove out to the Dalton/Hawkins Rd. area near the old Jackson Prison grounds.  We spotted a Golden Eagle, Bald Eagle, Red-Tailed Hawk, and Northern Shrike.  A flock of about 30 American Robins helped raise the temperature a few degrees.  Later, while looping back, a few of us also saw a light morph Rough-legged Hawk.

    We finished out with a lunch at the Clear Lake Grill.

    Haehnle eBird Checklist
    Dalton/Hawkins eBird Checklist

  • Saturday, January 18, 2020 1:00 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    ​by Lynne Eckerle

    Jackson Audubon’s Tuesday Morning Group traveled to Hidden Lake Gardens in Tipton on January 14th for Robert Ayotte’s presentation, Environmental Toxidromes, Rashes, Poisonings and Enviromation.  Enviromental Toxidromes are substances that create a syndrome caused by dangerous toxins in the body.  Common symptoms include dizziness, disorientation, nausea, vomiting and shaky or blurred vision.  Enviromation is the exposure to a poison or toxin resulting from a bite or sting from an animal such as a snake, scorpion, spider, insect or from marine life.


    It is surprising the number of plants, insects and animals that cause physical and sometimes physiological reactions.  These effects range from the barely noticeable to sneezing and itchy eyes caused by pollens, severe rashes from touching plants such as giant hogweed and a quick and painful death by ingesting poison hemlock.

    Also mentioned were the use and dangers of several mind altering substances found in nature.  The most bizarre was the practice of sucking toads for the bufotoxin they excrete as a means of self-defense.  Bufotoxin can cause hallucinations, uncontrollable salivating, coughing, vomiting and convulsions.


    Robert also lead a conifer walk around the pond; explaining how to identify the different species of trees by the formation and placement of the needles, through the shape of the trees and the structure of the pine cones.

    Robert is the Vice President of the Huron Valley Chapter of the Michigan Botanical Club.

    Post and Photos by Lynn Eckerle

  • Tuesday, November 05, 2019 8:31 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    This week was the USFWS fall crane count.  So this is the official government count for us:  2.  Ron Hoffman & I counted in an adjacent property to the north of the sanctuary and our numbers were about the same.

    eBird checklist is available at:  https://ebird.org/checklist/S61196527

    Crane counters:   Gary Siegrist & Ross Green

    Compiler:  Gary Siegrist

    Submitted by Steve Jerant

    Crane Count:  02 (21 observed in the area)

    Species count:  31

    115 Canada Goose

    3 Trumpeter Swan -- 2 adults and one juvenile  

    7 Wood Duck

    6 Northern Shoveler

    20 American Wigeon

    75 Mallard

    6 American Black Duck

    15 Ring-necked Duck

    9 Hooded Merganser

    21 Sandhill Crane -- 2 stayed in marsh 

    1 Turkey Vulture

    2 Northern Harrier

    2 Bald Eagle

    2 Red-tailed Hawk

    2 Red-bellied Woodpecker

    1 Downy Woodpecker

    1 Hairy Woodpecker

    1 Blue Jay

    8 American Crow

    1 Black-capped Chickadee

    2 White-breasted Nuthatch

    1 Carolina Wren

    2 Eastern Bluebird

    7 American Robin

    15 Cedar Waxwing

    3 House Finch

    3 American Tree Sparrow

    6 Fox Sparrow -- Observed by Gary S

    11 White-throated Sparrow

    7 Song Sparrow

    225 Red-winged Blackbird

    2 Common Grackle

    You can view past postings and historical crane counting data at 

    Haehnle site at http://www.haehnlesanctuary.org/crane-count

  • Monday, October 21, 2019 12:15 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    The cranes are back! 

    It was warm, the sun was shining, the wind was mild, the tress were in full color, only three mosquito bites-a prefect night.  I counted nearly 500 cranes last night while working as a greeter along with Carol.  In addition to the cranes, nearly 60 visitors were at the overlook or walking the trails.  In the 5 o’clock hour we had well over a hundred come in with many flying above the overlook.  Several juvenile calls were heard. 

    Later, close to sunset, the reminder flew into the marsh, predominantly from the northwest.  We had some good flyovers and a strong finish for the night.

     Of note: we observed three Norther Harriers.

    Due to expected bad weather tonight, this will serve as the official crane count for the week.  You can see from the low number of species below I did not have our expert birders, Gary & Ross with me.

    eBird checklist is available at: https://ebird.org/checklist/S60817600

    Crane counters:    Steve Jerant, Carol Strahler
    Compiler:  Steve Jerant
    Submitted by Steve Jerant

    Crane Count:  487 observed, majority landed in the marsh
    Species count:  14

    60 Canada Goose

    20 Wood Duck

    20 Mallard

    3 Mourning Dove

    487 Sandhill Crane -- Total cranes observed.

    4 Great Egret

    3 Northern Harrier

    1 Sharp-shinned/Cooper's Hawk

    1 Red-bellied Woodpecker

    10 Blue Jay

    10 American Crow

    75 American Robin

    6 Cedar Waxwing

    400 Red-winged Blackbird

    1 Common Grackle


    You can view past postings and historical crane counting data at

    Haehnle site at http://www.haehnlesanctuary.org/crane-count 

  • Tuesday, October 15, 2019 6:42 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    JAS members came out of the morning frost to a beautiful day visit to Burke Lake Banding Station. This site is managed by MSU and is doing ongoing bird banding studies.  It's a great place to see birds up close and bird science being done in the field.  Kristy Taylor, education and outreach coordinator, walked us through two sets of mist nets used to capture the birds. 

    This ongoing project depends on grant funding and birders like YOU.  Information on the station and how you can contribute is available at:  MSU Bird Observatory

    Ruby-crowned kinglet

    Hermit Thrush

  • Monday, October 14, 2019 7:59 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    It was a beautiful fall evening at the sanctuary.  Gloves and hats were in use, so the season is finally changing.  Crane numbers continue to be rather low and only 14 of the 24 cranes seen tonight will be roosting in Mud Lake Marsh.  It is getting colder up north as well so we expect to see more crane traffic coming down to us in the next few weeks.

    Sparrows were quite active around the overlook with 5 species observed.  We had some Great Egrets and a good variety of waterfowl in the marsh.  Gary was commenting that we have not seen the Bald Eagle yet this year and the next moment one appeared in his scope.

    eBird checklist is available at: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S60627547

    Crane counters:   Gary Siegrist, Ross Green, & Steve Jerant
    Compiler:  Steve Jerant
    Submitted by Steve Jerant

    Crane Count:  14 (24 observed in the area)
    Species count:  42

    20 Canada Goose

    2 Mute Swan

    2 Trumpeter Swan

    15 Wood Duck

    1 Blue-winged Teal

    1 Northern Shoveler

    3 American Wigeon

    20 Mallard

    7 Ring-necked Duck

    2 Pied-billed Grebe

    3 American Coot

    24 Sandhill Crane -- 14 in marsh

    1 Great Blue Heron

    7 Great Egret

    3 Turkey Vulture

    1 Northern Harrier

    1 Bald Eagle

    1 Red-tailed Hawk

    2 Red-bellied Woodpecker

    1 Downy Woodpecker

    1 Pileated Woodpecker

    1 Northern Flicker

    1 Eastern Phoebe

    10 Blue Jay

    1 American Crow

    1 Black-capped Chickadee

    1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet --

    3 White-breasted Nuthatch

    1 Eastern Bluebird

    70 American Robin

    14 Cedar Waxwing

    7 House Sparrow

    1 American Goldfinch

    10 White-crowned Sparrow

    20 White-throated Sparrow

    35 Song Sparrow

    4 Lincoln's Sparrow -

    10 Swamp Sparrow

    500 Red-winged Blackbird

    2 Common Grackle

    1 Northern Cardinal

    1 Indigo Bunting 

    You can view past postings and historical crane counting data at

    Haehnle site at http://www.haehnlesanctuary.org/crane-count 


  • Monday, October 07, 2019 8:17 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    A quiet night at the Sanctuary.  There was very little bird activity at the overlook and in the marsh.  Ten cranes were seen and only 2 will be staying the night. 

    But we did have apple pie, so...

    eBird checklist is available at:  https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S60439786

    Crane counters:   Gary Siegrist,  & Steve Jerant

    Compiler:  Steve Jerant

    Submitted by Steve Jerant

    Crane Count:  2 (10 observed in the area)

    Species count:  30

    30 Canada Goose

    3 Trumpeter Swan -- 2 adults and a signet. Our breeding pair. 

    30 Wood Duck

    10 Mallard

    2 American Black Duck

    1 Mourning Dove

    2 American Coot

    10 Sandhill Crane -- 2 stayed in marsh

    2 Great Blue Heron

    3 Great Egret

    1 Turkey Vulture

    1 Northern Harrier

    1 Red-tailed Hawk

    1 Red-bellied Woodpecker

    1 Downy Woodpecker

    1 Hairy Woodpecker

    1 Northern Flicker

    1 American Kestrel

    3 Eastern Phoebe

    10 Blue Jay

    6 American Crow

    1 Black-capped Chickadee

    20 European Starling

    1 Eastern Bluebird

    50 American Robin

    8 Cedar Waxwing

    1 American Goldfinch

    1 Chipping Sparrow

    5 White-throated Sparrow

    200 Red-winged Blackbird

    You can view past postings and historical crane counting data at 

    Haehnle site at http://www.haehnlesanctuary.org/crane-count

  • Monday, September 30, 2019 8:15 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    On this unseasonably warm evening we had more mosquitoes than cranes. Only 18 cranes roosted in the marsh. Most of them arrived in one flight so our hopes were up for a big night, but it was not to be.

    Seven species of raptors were observed and we had a lot of sparrows near the overlook. Not a whole lot of blackbird activity but the fog coming in over the sanctuary from the west provided a nice view. On my way out I saw three bats in the parking lot, a bit late to help with all my bug bites.

    eBird checklist is available at: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S60249001

    Crane counters: Gary Siegrist, Ross Green, & Steve Jerant

    Compiler: Steve Jerant

    Submitted by Steve Jerant

    Crane Count: 18 (22 observed in the area)

    Species count: 45

    1 Cackling Goose

    51 Canada Goose

    40 Wood Duck

    3 Mallard

    4 Pied-billed Grebe

    1 Mourning Dove

    1 Virginia Rail --

    2 American Coot

    22 Sandhill Crane -- 18 roosted in the marsh.

    2 Great Blue Heron

    4 Great Egret

    3 Turkey Vulture

    2 Northern Harrier

    2 Cooper's Hawk

    2 Red-tailed Hawk

    3 Red-bellied Woodpecker

    1 Downy Woodpecker

    1 Hairy Woodpecker

    1 Pileated Woodpecker

    1 Northern Flicker

    1 American Kestrel

    1 Merlin

    1 Eastern Wood-Pewee

    1 Eastern Phoebe

    3 Blue Jay

    1 American Crow

    2 Tufted Titmouse

    1 House Wren

    4 Marsh Wren

    1 Gray Catbird

    2 Eastern Bluebird

    7 American Robin

    40 Cedar Waxwing

    1 American Goldfinch

    5 Chipping Sparrow

    1 Field Sparrow

    4 White-crowned Sparrow

    3 White-throated Sparrow

    4 Song Sparrow

    2 Lincoln's Sparrow

    10 Swamp Sparrow

    500 Red-winged Blackbird

    1 Nashville Warbler --

    1 Common Yellowthroat

    2 Indigo Bunting

    Number of Taxa: 45

    You can view past postings and historical crane counting data at

    Haehnle site at http://www.haehnlesanctuary.org/crane-count 


  • Monday, September 23, 2019 8:51 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    It was good to see an increase in numbers this week. We had 157 total cranes and about half, 83, will be spending the night.  More cranes are gathering in the new habitat that has resulted from the removal of buckthorn by the fen.

    Ross spotted an American Kestral perched in the same area.  Other highlights included a hummingbird, Sharp-shinned Hawk, female scarlet tanager.  A pack of coyotes serenaded us before we left.  

    eBird checklist is available at: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S60065230

    Crane counters:   Gary Siegrist, Ross Green, & Steve Jerant
    Compiler:  Steve Jerant
    Submitted by Steve Jerant

    Crane Count:  83 (157 observed in the area)

    Species count:  40

    70 Canada Goose

    2 Mute Swan

    3 Trumpeter Swan -- 2 adults and a sygnet 

    40 Wood Duck

    75 Mallard

    4 American Black Duck

    4 Mourning Dove

    1 Ruby-throated Hummingbird

    157 Sandhill Crane -- 83 stayed in the marsh

    3 Great Blue Heron

    11 Great Egret

    6 Turkey Vulture

    1 Sharp-shinned Hawk

    2 Red-bellied Woodpecker

    2 Downy Woodpecker

    1 Hairy Woodpecker

    2 Northern Flicker

    1 American Kestrel

    1 Eastern Wood-Pewee

    1 Eastern Phoebe

    6 Blue Jay

    7 American Crow

    3 Black-capped Chickadee

    4 White-breasted Nuthatch

    2 House Wren

    1 Carolina Wren

    2 Gray Catbird

    10 Eastern Bluebird

    1 Wood Thrush

    100 American Robin

    12 Cedar Waxwing

    6 American Goldfinch

    4 Chipping Sparrow

    4 Field Sparrow

    1 Song Sparrow

    3 Swamp Sparrow

    2000 Red-winged Blackbird

    5 Common Yellowthroat

    1 American Redstart

    1 Scarlet Tanager -- Female

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

  • Tuesday, September 17, 2019 5:00 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Michigan Nature association's Rachel Maranto led a tour of the excellent fen prairie at Goose Creek Nature Sanctuary.  

    Ten  JAS members and 5 MNA members and staff walked the "deer trail" on this cloudy but mild morning.  Rachel had promised some fringed gentians would be in bloom and she was right.

    In addition to those, we also saw a variety of goldenrods, Ladies' Tresses, Green Milkweed, and Turtlehead.







    Sneezeweed

    Photos: Steve Jerant

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