Jackson Audubon Society

 The Audubon Society of Jackson County, Michigan

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  • Monday, November 30, 2020 8:00 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    The wonderful thing about nature is how variable it can be.  Last week we had a pretty big crane count, lots of flyovers.  This week, not so much, as they say.  Several groups of cranes came in around 4 PM so I thought his was going to be another great week, then the rush went to a trickle, then it was just cold and windy.   The final roosting count was 156, about 1/10th of last week. 

    Some cranes were coming down north of the Sanctuary but not in huge numbers.  Visibility was impaired by low light and some snow, so I’m sure we missed observations both in and out of the property.

    It was a pretty good raptor night including a pair of Red-tailed Hawks soaring from the east to the west behind the overlook.  They were quite vocal, and I heard them before I saw them.  Ross got a pair of juvenile Bald Eagles over at Eagle lake.

    We still are getting ducks and there was a large group of Hoodies over on Eagle Lake. The waterfowl in Mud Lake Marsh were tough to ID with the poor conditions.

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

    Crane Count:  156 (307 total observed)
    Species count:  19

    2 Canada Goose

    5 American Wigeon

    28 Mallard

    55 Hooded Merganser -- @ Eagle Lake

    307 Sandhill Crane -- 156 in Mud Lake Marsh

    1 Northern Harrier

    1 Sharp-shinned Hawk

    2 Bald Eagle -- Juveniles

    2 Red-tailed Hawk

    1 Belted Kingfisher

    1 Red-bellied Woodpecker

    1 Downy Woodpecker

    4 Black-capped Chickadee

    1 Tufted Titmouse

    1 White-breasted Nuthatch

    1 American Goldfinch

    1 American Tree Sparrow

    205 Red-winged Blackbird

    1 Northern Cardinal

    View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S76921720  

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


  • Monday, November 23, 2020 8:49 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    The pain in my clicker thumb told me it was going to be a good night.  We counted a total of  2,506 cranes from the overlook. Of those, 1,681 will be spending the night.  2015 was the last year we broke the 1,000 crane milestone. Early traffic was coming in from the western side. Then the eastern approaches started to get very busy as well.  The count was about even between the two sides.  In the past weeks the west side brought in the most birds. We were seeing multiple groups of 20+ coming in from both sides.  This is activity we’ve not seen in many years.

    Lots of ducks are coming in with Shovelers being well represented.

    If you’ve never watched the cranes leave in the morning, tomorrow might be a good time to try. They leave in a relatively short period of time and it’s quite a spectacle.  This occurs shortly after sunrise.

    Crane counters:   Gary Siegrist & Steve Jerant
    Compiler:  Steve Jerant
    Submitted by Steve Jerant

    Crane Count:  1,681 (2,506 total observed)
    Species count:  17

    35 Canada Goose

    6 Mute Swan

    35 Northern Shoveler

    8 Gadwall

    15 American Wigeon

    45 Mallard

    4 American Black Duck

    2506 Sandhill Crane -- 1681 In marsh

    4 Ring-billed Gull

    1 Northern Harrier

    1 Red-tailed Hawk

    1 Red-bellied Woodpecker

    1 Downy Woodpecker

    1 Blue Jay

    1 American Crow

    6 Eastern Bluebird

    150 Red-winged Blackbird

    View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S76617242


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


  • Monday, November 16, 2020 7:32 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    We had a banner day at the sanctuary with more cranes roosting than were observed passing through.  No huge groups came in, but we had steady activity for nearly an hour around sunset and beyond.  Also, lots of flyovers directly above us on the overlook.  While it was a bit chilly and windy, we had good sun and were able to see the setting sun hit a Rough-legged Hark perfectly to clinch the ID.  In addition to the cranes we had lots of ducks and a single Great Blue Heron, perhaps the last of the season.

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

    Crane Count:  699 (1113 total observed)
    Species count:  18

    45 Canada Goose

    18 American Wigeon

    300 Mallard

    9 American Black Duck

    1 Mourning Dove

    90 American Coot

    1113 Sandhill Crane -- 699 roosting in marsh 414 counted in the area.

    1 Ring-billed Gull

    1 Great Blue Heron

    1 Red-tailed Hawk

    1 Rough-legged Hawk

    1 Hairy Woodpecker

    1 Blue Jay

    3 American Crow

    2 White-breasted Nuthatch

    9 American Robin

    1 American Tree Sparrow

    800 Red-winged Blackbird

    View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S76348497

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


  • Monday, November 02, 2020 9:20 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    We left Gary all by himself tonight while Ross and I counted other locations for the USFWS Annual Crane Survey. 

    Gary reported, “We had two new species arrive at the sanctuary from this weekend's storms. One was a American Tree Sparrow and the other was a  Rough-legged Hawk. We also counted 377 sandhill cranes roosting in Mud Lake Marsh with another 656 cranes flying by north of the sanctuary.”

    Ross counted 786 roosting at Hawkins Rd. near Portage Lake.  Always a popular spot.

    Ron Hoffman & I counted 698 on private property north of Haehnle Sanctuary. That was about a 4000% increase from last year’s count for that location.  It was a clear night and my region to watch was due west. I did my best Galileo impression by accidentally looking at the sun with binoculars while following a large group of cranes.  But we did have a beautiful sunset.

    The cranes did a great job getting counted tonight-be sure you do the same tomorrow on Election Day!

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

    Crane Count:  377 (1033 total observed)
    Species count:  23

    23 species (+1 other taxa)

    Canada Goose  33

    Trumpeter Swan  3    Trumpeters nest in Mud Lake Marsh at Haehnle Sanctuary and this is 2020 family group.

    American Wigeon  12

    Mallard  19

    American Black Duck  15

    Pied-billed Grebe  1

    Sandhill Crane  1033    Had 656 flybys north of sanctuary with 377 roosting in Mud Lake Marsh

    Ring-billed Gull  2

    Northern Harrier  2

    Cooper's Hawk  1

    Bald Eagle  1

    Red-tailed Hawk  1

    Rough-legged Hawk  1

    American Crow  29

    American Robin  21

    Cedar Waxwing  20

    Purple Finch  2

    American Tree Sparrow  1

    White-throated Sparrow  9

    Song Sparrow  1

    Red-winged Blackbird  140

    Common Grackle  2

    blackbird sp.  400

    Northern Cardinal  2

    View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S75765009

    You can view past postings and historical crane counting data on the Haehnle web site at http://www.haehnlesanctuary.org/crane-count 
  • Monday, October 26, 2020 9:03 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    We’ve moved from cool to cold but we still had a lot of visitors watching for cranes tonight.  The rain last week likely moved our water level up a bit which makes our crane counts go down.  There were several good flyovers above the Harold Wing lookout despite the relatively low numbers of cranes that stayed in Mud Lake Marsh tonight.  Cranes are still coming down from the UP, so we expect traffic to continue through Jackson county.

    We saw a pair of Trumpeter Swans with a cygnet in tow-always good to see the generations continuing.  An egret and a heron  joined the ducks in the march while 3 harriers coasted above the water and grass.

    Next Monday we will be participating in the annual USFWS annual crane count.

    Crane counters:   Gary Siegrist & Steve Jerant
    Compiler:  Steve Jerant
    Submitted by Steve Jerant

    Crane Count:  58 (183 total observed)
    Species count:  33

    41 Canada Goose

    3 Trumpeter Swan -- 2 adult w/ 1 signet

    3 Wood Duck

    7 Gadwall

    4 American Wigeon

    2 Mallard

    8 American Black Duck

    3 Green-winged Teal

    15 Ring-necked Duck

    4 Hooded Merganser -- 2 pairs

    4 Pied-billed Grebe

    41 American Coot

    10 Sandhill Crane

    1 Great Blue Heron

    1 Great Egret

    3 Northern Harrier

    1 Bald Eagle

    1 Red-tailed Hawk

    1 Eastern Screech-Owl

    3 Downy Woodpecker

    1 Hairy Woodpecker

    2 Northern Flicker

    1 Blue Jay

    7 American Crow

    4 White-breasted Nuthatch

    1 Carolina Wren

    3 Eastern Bluebird

    55 American Robin

    15 Cedar Waxwing

    4 American Goldfinch

    500 Red-winged Blackbird

    4 Rusty Blackbird

    2 Northern Cardinal

    View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S75466315


    You can view past postings and historical crane counting data on the Haehnle web site at
    http://www.haehnlesanctuary.org/crane-count
  • Wednesday, October 21, 2020 7:25 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    From Gary S.:

    We had 534 cranes seen last night from observation hill with 324 staying to roost in Mud Lake Marsh. Most of the crane flew right over where we were standing. Good raptor night with 3 Bald Eagles (one was an adult that caught prey so young could feed), 2 Northern Harriers (Adult male and juvenile), 2 Red-tail Hawks, and 1 Sharp-shinned Hawk. There was lots of waterfowl to be seen with a scope including the Trumpeter Swans. Despite the weather it was a good night. 

    Crane counters:   Gary Siegrist & Ross Green 

    Compiler:  Gary Siegrist

    Submitted by Steve Jerant

    Crane Count:  324 (534 total observed)
    Species count:  50
     

    Canada Goose  25

    Mute Swan  1

    Trumpeter Swan  2

    Wood Duck  2

    Blue-winged Teal  12

    Northern Shoveler  3

    Gadwall  70    See photo

    American Wigeon  50    Conservative

    Mallard  18

    American Black Duck  3

    Green-winged Teal  5

    dabbling duck sp.  50

    Ring-necked Duck  7

    Pied-billed Grebe  6

    American Coot  85

    Sandhill Crane  534    324 landed in marsh

    Wilson's Snipe  1

    Ring-billed Gull  1

    Great Blue Heron  2

    Great Egret  4

    Northern Harrier  2

    Bald Eagle  3

    Eastern Screech-Owl  2

    Red-bellied Woodpecker  2

    Downy Woodpecker  3

    Hairy Woodpecker  1

    Pileated Woodpecker  1

    Northern Flicker  1

    Blue Jay  2

    American Crow  2

    Black-capped Chickadee  6

    Tufted Titmouse  3

    kinglet sp.  1

    White-breasted Nuthatch  3

    Carolina Wren  3

    European Starling  300

    Eastern Bluebird  3

    Hermit Thrush  1

    American Robin  200

    Cedar Waxwing  4

    House Sparrow  2

    American Goldfinch  2

    Field Sparrow  1

    White-crowned Sparrow  6

    White-throated Sparrow  11

    Song Sparrow  2

    Swamp Sparrow  3

    Eastern Towhee  1

    Red-winged Blackbird  400

    Common Grackle  150

    blackbird sp.  100

    Yellow-rumped Warbler  1

    Northern Cardinal  2

    View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S75194980

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

  • Monday, October 12, 2020 9:44 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    We had a good deal of crane activity tonight. Near sunset there were about ten close flyovers above the overlook.  Two groups had juvenile cranes due to the squeaky call.

    I’d estimate 50 to 75 cranes flew into and over Haehnle but only 7 will spend the night at the Sanctuary.  There was a lot of crane activity observed to the northwest.

    In addition to the cranes we had three Norther Harrier including a male juvenile that was getting his adult coloration coming in.

    There were lots of ducks, but the weather was affecting visibility and the coming storm reduced our light.

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

    Crane Count:  7 (312 total observed)
    Species count:  38

    Canada Goose  35

    Mute Swan  1

    Trumpeter Swan  2

    Blue-winged Teal  20   

    American Wigeon  1

    Mallard  10

    Pied-billed Grebe  2

    Mourning Dove  1

    Sandhill Crane  312    Only 7 stayed in marsh

    Wilson's Snipe  1

    Great Egret  1

    Northern Harrier  3

    Bald Eagle  1

    Eastern Screech-Owl  1

    Belted Kingfisher  3

    Red-bellied Woodpecker  2

    Downy Woodpecker  1

    Hairy Woodpecker  1

    Northern Flicker  1

    Eastern Phoebe  1

    Blue Jay  1

    Black-capped Chickadee  1

    Carolina Wren  2

    European Starling  6

    Eastern Bluebird  4

    American Robin  40

    Cedar Waxwing  21

    Purple Finch  1

    American Goldfinch  5

    Field Sparrow  2

    Dark-eyed Junco  1

    White-crowned Sparrow  10

    White-throated Sparrow  12

    Song Sparrow  15

    Swamp Sparrow  30    Ross found in emergent marsh

    Red-winged Blackbird  500

    Rusty Blackbird  1

    Yellow-rumped Warbler  2

    View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S74760448

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


  • Monday, October 05, 2020 10:03 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    The count tonight was uneventful.  We saw a trio of immature Norther Harriers, a few fall warblers, and six sparrow species.  With the Egrets a no-show and only one Great Blue Heron, I’m thinking fishing season looks to be coming to an end.

    We had only 7 cranes settled in the marsh and most of them left before sunset. The night was clear and the colors are just starting, so I’m looking forward to some spectacular sunsets in the weeks ahead on the marsh.


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

    Compiler:  Steve Jerant
    Submitted by Steve Jerant
    Species count:  38

    Crane Count:  2 (132 observed in the area)

    60 Canada Goose

    25 Wood Duck

    17 Blue-winged Teal -- Flock in flight

    8 Mallard

    4 American Black Duck

    2 Pied-billed Grebe

    132 Sandhill Crane -- 2 in marsh

    1 Great Blue Heron

    4 Turkey Vulture

    3 Northern Harrier

    3 Red-tailed Hawk

    3 Red-bellied Woodpecker

    3 Downy Woodpecker

    1 Northern Flicker

    2 Eastern Phoebe

    1 Yellow-throated Vireo -- Spotted by Gary S

    2 Red-eyed Vireo

    6 American Crow

    3 Black-capped Chickadee

    3 White-breasted Nuthatch

    1 Brown Creeper

    9 European Starling

    7 Eastern Bluebird

    9 American Robin

    19 Cedar Waxwing

    5 American Goldfinch

    2 Field Sparrow

    5 White-crowned Sparrow

    14 White-throated Sparrow

    4 Song Sparrow

    4 Lincoln's Sparrow

    4 Swamp Sparrow

    200 Red-winged Blackbird

    1 Nashville Warbler

    1 Northern Parula

    1 Yellow-rumped Warbler

    1 Black-throated Green Warbler

    3 Northern Cardinal

    eBird checklist is available at:  https://ebird.org/checklist/S73905577

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

  • Monday, September 21, 2020 8:40 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    We had a clear night for watching birds from the overlook and along the trails at Haehnle.  Highlights include both black and yellow-billed Cuckoos, 6 migrating warbler species, two Common Nighthawks, and another Black-Crowned Night Heron again this week.  Cranes were few, with only two in the march but they did not stay overnight in Mud Lake Marsh.

    eBird checklist is available at:  https://ebird.org/checklist/S73905577

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

    Crane Count:  0 (9 observed in the area)
    Species count:  45


  • Monday, September 21, 2020 8:39 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Jackson Audubon lost a lifetime member and former board member in the passing of Paul Brencher on September 11.

    Paul Brencher was a true gentleman who had 0 enemies. He kept his love for plants and the natural world, his desire to rope in others, and his Boilermaker fandom membership to the very end. He left tons of friends who owe him our thanks. –MK

    His obituary is available on the Jackson Citizen Patriot.


    Members of JAS at Paul's memorial on September 19.

    Donations in Paul's memory may be made to The Nature Conservancy Michigan Chapter, Jackson College Foundation nursing program scholarships, or a conservation organization of your choice.


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