Jackson Audubon Society

 The Audubon Society of Jackson County, Michigan

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  • Monday, November 29, 2021 7:30 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    The weather this weekend brought a few inches of snow and froze over most of Mud Lake Marsh.  No cranes were seen or heard today.  We had a bit of open water that hosted a small flock of American Black Duck and Mallard. 


    Ross spotted a group of Canada Goose far out in the horizon and we found a pair of Mute Swan on Eagle Lake. We also spotted this little fellow on the trail.  I am loving the use of native plants on him.


    Unless it gets a lot warner, this will be the last post of the year.  Remember Haehnle Sanctuary is open all year and the parking lot is plowed after heavy snow.  It’s a great spot for a short cross county ski or a quiet winter walk.  And we do have a fairly regular Northern Shrike…

    Crane counters:   Steve Jerant & Ross Green
    Compiler:  Steve Jerant
    Submitted by Steve Jerant

    Crane Count:  0 (0 total observed)
    Species count:  11

    14 Canada Goose

    2 Mute Swan

    3 Mallard

    11 American Black Duck

    1 Pileated Woodpecker

    2 Northern Flicker

    2 Blue Jay

    1 Tufted Titmouse

    1 White-breasted Nuthatch

    2 Carolina Wren

    4 American Tree Sparrow

    Number of Taxa: 11

    View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S98261835


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


  • Monday, November 22, 2021 8:03 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    We did not do an official count tonight at the Sanctuary.   I’m submitting a count I did last night while working as a weekend greeter. 

    The weather cleared in time for some visitors to come out and enjoy the view and get to see some cranes come into the marsh. We had three flyovers totaling about 14 birds from a grand total of only 27.  A bit more than half, 18 roosted in the marsh overnight.

    Crane counters:   Steve Jerant
    Compiler:  Steve Jerant
    Submitted by Steve Jerant

    Crane Count:  18 (27 total observed)
    Species count:  16

    18 Canada Goose

    2 Trumpeter Swan

    35 Mallard

    12 American Black Duck

    27 Sandhill Crane -- 18 in marsh

    6 Ring-billed Gull

    1 Northern Harrier

    1 Sharp-shinned/Cooper's Hawk

    1 Bald Eagle -- Immature

    1 Red-bellied Woodpecker

    3 Northern Flicker

    1 Blue Jay

    2 White-breasted Nuthatch

    2 American Tree Sparrow

    5 White-throated Sparrow

    75 Red-winged Blackbird -- 2 groups

    Number of Taxa: 16

    View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S97902304

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


  • Tuesday, November 16, 2021 12:00 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Seven JAS members visited the Dahlem Center Tuesday for some late fall/early winter birdwatching.  It started a bit cold but the sun broke through after an hour or so and helped with lighting up the forest.  Dahlem provided us with a good mix of habitats, including grassland, conifer & hardwood forests and wetland. 

    In the northern section there is a good population of Eastern Wahoo, a species of native burningbush (Euonymus atropurpureus).  

    American Tree Sparrow were there along with lots of nuthatches.  The prairie opened up for us to see a pair of Red Tail Hawks soaring.  Moving the reflection pool boardwalk, what is that, an early snowy owl?....

    ...nevermind, one of the kids must have made this snowman.

    Our next tour will be Haehnle Sanctuary on December 07. 

    Species list:

    2 Sandhill Crane

    3 Red-tailed Hawk

    3 Red-bellied Woodpecker

    6 Downy Woodpecker

    1 Hairy Woodpecker

    1 Pileated Woodpecker

    2 Blue Jay

    8 American Crow

    7 Black-capped Chickadee

    3 Tufted Titmouse

    3 Golden-crowned Kinglet 

    10 White-breasted Nuthatch

    1 Carolina Wren

    8 Eastern Bluebird

    5 Cedar Waxwing

    1 House Sparrow

    7 American Goldfinch

    3 American Tree Sparrow

    1 Northern Cardinal

    Number of Taxa: 19

    Checklist available at https://ebird.org/checklist/S97666421

  • Monday, November 15, 2021 7:06 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Tonight was overcast and we saw little activity. Only 8 cranes spotted in two groups, none will be roosting.  Two Northern Harriers are still working the marsh and many ducks remain in the open water.  We had two small groups of starlings and blackbirds.  It snowed yesterday and a little remains on the ground.  But it will burn off in the next few days and we expect temperatures to be in the high 30’s so we’ll likely count next week.

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

    Crane Count:  0 (8 total observed)
    Species count:  21

    22 Canada Goose

    4 American Wigeon

    200 Mallard

    4 American Black Duck

    30 Ring-necked Duck

    4 Hooded Merganser

    8 Sandhill Crane

    2 Northern Harrier

    1 Bald Eagle

    1 Red-bellied Woodpecker

    1 Downy Woodpecker

    3 Northern Flicker

    3 Blue Jay

    1 White-breasted Nuthatch

    1 Carolina Wren

    20 European Starling

    2 Eastern Bluebird

    16 American Robin

    2 Dark-eyed Junco

    1 White-throated Sparrow

    25 Red-winged Blackbird

    Number of Taxa: 21

    View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S97642896


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

  • Monday, November 08, 2021 7:14 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    It was a lovely warm afternoon for our first count under Standard Time.  The temperature was great and no mosquitos.  Also, no cranes, staying overnight anyway.  We did count 43 cranes, 8 of which were in the marsh but left before sundown.  Even though the count was low, 18 of those birds did fly over the Harold Wing Overlook so we could get a good view of these Sandhill Cranes we’re always talking about.  I did not hear any juveniles in those fly-bys.


    The ducks were very active, and we counted 8 species of waterbirds.  The raptor activity was good with an early sighting of several Bald Eagles then a low flyover right as we were leaving. 

    Cranes are active in the surrounding areas, including good numbers (over 1000) in the Hawkins/Dalton Rds. Areas west of the Sanctuary.

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

    Crane Count:  0 (43 total observed)
    Species count:  32

    50 Canada Goose

    30 Wood Duck

    12 Gadwall

    3 American Wigeon

    3 Green-winged Teal

    100 Ring-necked Duck

    1 Pied-billed Grebe

    5 American Coot

    43 Sandhill Crane

    3 Northern Harrier

    6 Bald Eagle -- 2 in marsh, 3 flying by inc. 2 immature plus one flyover as we were leaving

    3 Red-tailed Hawk

    1 Red-bellied Woodpecker

    1 Pileated Woodpecker

    2 Northern Flicker

    2 Blue Jay

    10 American Crow

    2 White-breasted Nuthatch

    1 Carolina Wren

    300 European Starling

    9 Eastern Bluebird

    10 American Robin

    60 Cedar Waxwing

    5 House Finch

    3 American Goldfinch

    2 White-throated Sparrow

    1 Song Sparrow

    700 Red-winged Blackbird

    7 Rusty Blackbird

    27 Common Grackle

    1 Yellow-rumped Warbler

    1 Northern Cardinal

    Number of Taxa: 32

    View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S97326016


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

  • Tuesday, November 02, 2021 12:00 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Five members of JAS spend a beautiful autumn morning at Watkins Lake SP looking for waterfowl. We were not disappointed.  Thirteen species of waterfowl were spotted.  Lots of the usual suspects at this time and place including lots of Canada Goose, Ring Neck and Ruddy Ducks.  Redheads and Canvasbacks were there as well and gave us some opportunity to compare these two species. 


    Kingfishers and herons were active so the fishing was good as well.  The color was excellent as well and we had some nice views of the changing landscape as the clouds broke and lit up some sections of the park.


    In addition to our avian friends, Gary Siegrist showed us a growth of American Bittersweet (Celastrus scandens). Not Oriental Bittersweet, the invasive, but the native species.  This is not found very often so it was good to get familiar with this species. It has similar persistent red berries with a orange capsule, but they are clumped at the terminal, not throughout the branch as in the invasive.  If you'd like for information on identification see this excellent two page identification guide available from the USGS.


    All photos Steve Jerant

    See our trip eBird checklist.

    600 Canada Goose

    5 Wood Duck

    4 Northern Shoveler

    40 Mallard

    1 Northern Pintail

    31 Canvasback -- Individually counted. Outnumbered Redheads considerably.

    6 Redhead

    800 Ring-necked Duck

    3 Lesser Scaup

    17 Hooded Merganser

    300 Ruddy Duck -- Large numbers estimated mixed in with many Ring Billed ducks.

    20 Pied-billed Grebe

    4 Mourning Dove

    50 American Coot

    4 Sandhill Crane

    4 Bonaparte's Gull

    10 Ring-billed Gull

    4 Great Blue Heron

    10 Turkey Vulture

    1 Cooper's Hawk -- Spotted by Gary

    2 Belted Kingfisher

    3 Red-bellied Woodpecker

    5 Blue Jay

    5 Black-capped Chickadee

    1 Tufted Titmouse

    2 White-breasted Nuthatch

    30 European Starling

    1 Eastern Bluebird

    30 American Robin

    1 House Finch

    17 American Goldfinch

    3 Dark-eyed Junco

    30 Red-winged Blackbird

    Number of Taxa: 33

  • Monday, November 01, 2021 9:21 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Tonight, the Hahenle team participated in the annual US Fish & Wildlife Service crane count.  This helps to provide the USFWS with the best estimate of size and trend of the Eastern Population of Sandhill Cranes. 

    Gary Siegrist ran solo tonight at Haehnle and saw just 13 flybys and no cranes roosting tonight.  He did get a Merlin as well as a Rail species! 

    Ross Green and Lathe Claflin counted on Hawkins Road.  They had a busy end of night on their two sections and counted 725 cranes.  (Ross reports that there were 381 last night at Stony Lake in Napoleon). 

    Ron Hoffman and I counted at Dalton Rd. overlooking the prison property to the west.  We had a lot of continuous activity with cranes coming into the wet area and also going out.  Our “outie” count was high at 817, but the cranes came pouring in during the last moments before it got dark.  We counted 1,975 coming in so netted 1,158 roosting in the wetland this evening.

    We also saw hundreds of cranes feeding in the surrounding fields on Hawkins and Dalton Roads before we started to count.  Cranes are in the area, but with the high water in the Sanctuary our roosting numbers continue to be low.

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

    Crane Count:  0 (13 total observed)
    Species count:  38

    Trumpeter Swan 1

    Wood Duck 6

    Blue-winged Teal 7

    Gadwall 8

    American Wigeon 5

    Mallard 120

    American Black Duck 12

    Green-winged Teal 3

    Ring-necked Duck 135

    Pied-billed Grebe 1

    Mourning Dove 1

    American Coot 123

    Sandhill Crane 15

    Northern Harrier 2

    Bald Eagle 1

    Red-tailed Hawk 1

    Eastern Screech-Owl 1

    Red-bellied Woodpecker 2

    Downy Woodpecker 1

    Hairy Woodpecker 1

    Pileated Woodpecker 1

    Northern Flicker 2

    Merlin 1

    Blue Jay 2

    American Crow 2

    European Starling 10

    Eastern Bluebird 3

    American Robin 12

    Cedar Waxwing 55

    House Sparrow 3

    American Goldfinch 3

    White-throated Sparrow 5

    Song Sparrow 1

    Lincoln's Sparrow 1

    Swamp Sparrow 2

    Red-winged Blackbird 135

    Rusty Blackbird 2


    Gary's eBird checklist available HERE 

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


  • Monday, October 25, 2021 8:21 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    It was a blustery afternoon on the lookout today.  We observed two small groups of cranes for a total of 9 individuals.  None of them will be spending the night in the Sanctuary.  High wind, rain, and low visibility helped keep our species count down.

     

    There was a lot of duck activity and we got one lone Great Egret roosting in Mud Lake Marsh.  A small group (for starlings) did a quick murmuration for us before settling down for the evening.

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

    Crane Count:  0 (9 total observed)
    Species count:  27

    23 Canada Goose

    4 Wood Duck

    14 Gadwall

    20 American Wigeon

    200 Mallard

    8 American Black Duck

    2 Ring-necked Duck

    1 Mourning Dove

    25 American Coot

    9 Sandhill Crane -- 0 in the marsh

    1 Great Egret

    2 Northern Harrier

    1 Sharp-shinned Hawk

    1 Red-tailed Hawk

    1 Red-bellied Woodpecker

    1 Pileated Woodpecker

    1 Northern Flicker

    1 Blue Jay

    16 American Crow

    1 White-breasted Nuthatch

    150 European Starling

    3 Eastern Bluebird

    170 American Robin

    9 Cedar Waxwing

    5 sparrow sp.

    300 Red-winged Blackbird

    1 Rusty Blackbird

    Number of Taxa: 27

    View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S96707055


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

  • Monday, October 18, 2021 9:31 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Well, we doubled our count of cranes from last week to 10.  That said, we are not seeing many cranes in the area during the day in other areas near the Sanctuary.  Families of 2 or 3 and small groups are being observed but no large gatherings yet.  The field crops have not all been harvested, and it has been quite warm. 

    But when the crane counts are low we can watch all the other bird activity from the overlook and the trails.  There were a good variety of other species groups: ducks & water birds-11; sparrows & finches-8; raptors & shrike-8.

     Photo: Ross Green

    This is the second week in a row having seen 5 Northern Harriers.  Our Northern Shrike is back so we are hoping we’ll be seeing him more as things cool down.

    Crane counters:   Ross Green & Steve Jerant
    Compiler:  Steve Jerant
    Submitted by Steve Jerant

    Crane Count:  10 (18 total observed)
    Species count: 

    50 species

    92 Canada Goose

    50 Wood Duck

    5 Northern Shoveler

    2 Gadwall

    2 American Wigeon

    28 Mallard

    3 American Black Duck

    3 Northern Pintail

    10 Ring-necked Duck

    2 Pied-billed Grebe

    1 Mourning Dove

    11 American Coot

    18 Sandhill Crane -- 10 in marsh

    1 Great Blue Heron

    2 Great Egret

    3 Turkey Vulture

    1 Osprey -- Flying high over

    5 Northern Harrier

    1 Sharp-shinned Hawk

    1 Cooper's Hawk

    3 Bald Eagle

    3 Red-shouldered Hawk

    6 Red-tailed Hawk

    1 Belted Kingfisher

    2 Red-bellied Woodpecker

    1 Downy Woodpecker

    1 Pileated Woodpecker

    1 Northern Flicker

    1 Northern Shrike

    12 Blue Jay

    51 American Crow

    1 Black-capped Chickadee

    1 Tufted Titmouse

    1 White-breasted Nuthatch

    1 Carolina Wren

    16 European Starling

    12 Eastern Bluebird

    47 American Robin

    3 Cedar Waxwing

    1 House Finch

    1 American Goldfinch

    1 Field Sparrow

    7 White-crowned Sparrow

    2 White-throated Sparrow

    8 Song Sparrow

    1 Lincoln's Sparrow

    8 Swamp Sparrow

    1000 Red-winged Blackbird

    1 Rusty Blackbird

    5 Yellow-rumped Warbler

    Number of Taxa: 50

    View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S96406015


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


  • Tuesday, October 12, 2021 2:03 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Jackson Audubon opposes Sandhill Crane status change to non-protected species in Michigan.

    Join Michigan and Jackson Audubon to maintain Sandhill Crane Status as a Federally-Protected, Non-Game Species.

    From Michigan Audubon:

    Michigan Audubon’s leadership, chapters, members, and supporters have steadily opposed repeated proposals to remove federal protections and hunt the sandhill crane. We believe the majority of Michigan residents would like to continue to see the Sandhill Crane protected as a traditional non-game (migratory) bird species in Michigan, too. We urge you to share your opinions about this issue to ensure more voices are heard.

    Conservation groups like Michigan Audubon have been speaking out against short-sighted, special interest (sport shooting) proposals for several years. “Claims made by proponents of a proposed crane hunt fail to understand key differences and data about migratory population ecology, reproductive biology, and wildlife management from a sustainability perspective,” said Heather Good, Michigan Audubon’s Executive Director. “We ought to reinforce, not remove, federal protections this bird has earned over the last century. It’s time that our state legislative leaders step up to the plate and make better, sounder, more balanced decisions for the sustainable future of Michigan’s rich natural history–for people and wildlife alike.”

    Read the complete Michigan Audubon statement and see how you can contact the Michigan Natural Resources Commission.

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