Haehnle Sanctuary & USFWS Crane Count 10/30/2023
by Don Henise
A brisk cold evening closed out the October counts at Phyllis Haehnle Sanctuary. We even had a snow shower cross over the marsh at one point. The number of Sandhill Cranes using the sanctuary for night roosting remains on the low side, but numbers were up just a bit from Last week. A count of 97 cranes were tallied flying into Mud Lake Marsh for the night with another 147 counted as flybys.
Gary found the season's first Rough-legged Hawk working over the marsh. It was in view most of the evening either perched on a snag or flying around hunting, often hovering over the marsh and fen to the northwest of the overlook. Bald Eagles were prevalent throughout the evening as well, with at least 8 individuals being seen. There were three adults, at least two 1st year birds and three 2nd year birds. Three of the young birds circled directly overhead together.
Bald Eagle(Haliaeetus leucocephalus)(Don Henise)
Total Cranes Roosting: 97
Counters: Robyn Henise, Gary Siegrist
Compiled by: Don Henise
Complete eBird checklist: https://ebird.org/checklist/S153445631
In addition to the count at Haehnle, (https://www.fws.gov/epsandhill/node/7442)other JAS members participated in area counts for the USFWS.
Ron Hoffman & Steve Jerant counted 120 cranes roosting at the Schumacher Marsh near the Waterloo Farm Museum on Waterloo Munith Road.
Ross Green and Lathe Claflin reported the night's high of 198 cranes at marshland just north of the Haehnle Sanctuary.