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 Jackson Audubon Society

 The Audubon Society of Jackson County, Michigan

  • Monday, September 24, 2018 8:33 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Haehnle Sanctuary Crane Count 09/24/2018

    Our rainy, dreary afternoon was brightened by over a hundred cranes coming into the Sanctuary.  This was our second official count week and the numbers are going in the right direction.   The cranes arrived earlier than usual and flew in fast (but not furious) and seemed more determined to land than they have been in the past year.   We had several flyovers above the overlook which is always a treat.

    Great egrets continue to roost as well as a few herons.  Ross found some migrating warblers and we had a big overflight of robins.

    eBird checklist is available at:

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

    Crane Count:  104, 106 observed flying in area
    Species count:  35



    Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)


    swan sp. (Cygnus sp.)


    Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)


    Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)


    Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)


    Sandhill Crane (Antigone canadensis)


    Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)


    Great Egret (Ardea alba)


    Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)


    Northern Harrier (Circus hudsonius)


    Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)


    Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)


    Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)


    Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens)


    Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)


    Eastern Wood-Pewee (Contopus virens)


    Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)


    American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)


    Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)


    Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)


    White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)


    House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)


    Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula)


    American Robin (Turdus migratorius)


    Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)


    American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)


    Field Sparrow (Spizella pusilla)


    Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)


    Lincoln's Sparrow (Melospiza lincolnii)


    Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana)


    Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)


    Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)


    American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla)


    Bay-breasted Warbler (Setophaga castanea)


    Black-throated Blue Warbler (Setophaga caerulescens)


    Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)


    You can view past postings and historical crane counting data at 

  • Tuesday, September 11, 2018 7:17 AM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Haehnle Sanctuary began weekly crane counts Monday afternoon.  Ross Green & I observed only 14 cranes passing through and none stayed overnight.  The weather was mild and while it was cloudy most of the time, we did get a treat of some yellow sun splash that turned incoming egrets yellow and gave us a hint of fall colors coming to the marsh.

    In addition to the egrets, other highlights included chimney swifts, a barred owl, and an end of day serenade from some field sparrows.  Ross had a good afternoon with 8 warbler and vireo species.

    eBird checklist is available at:

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

    Crane Count:  0, 14 observed flying in area
    Species count:  45

    30 Canada Goose

    10 Wood Duck

    3 Blue-winged Teal

    100 Mallard

    2 Mourning Dove

    2 Common Nighthawk

    8 Chimney Swift

    2 Ruby-throated Hummingbird

    14 Sandhill Crane

    4 Great Blue Heron

    8 Great Egret

    1 Turkey Vulture

    1 Northern Harrier

    1 Great Horned Owl

    1 Red-bellied Woodpecker

    1 Downy Woodpecker

    1 Hairy Woodpecker

    2 Northern Flicker

    1 Eastern Wood-Pewee

    1 Least Flycatcher

    1 Red-eyed Vireo

    4 Blue Jay

    3 American Crow

    3 Black-capped Chickadee

    2 White-breasted Nuthatch

    2 Eastern Bluebird

    1 Wood Thrush

    150 American Robin

    2 Gray Catbird

    500 European Starling

    36 Cedar Waxwing

    55 American Goldfinch

    3 Field Sparrow

    5 Song Sparrow

    1 Eastern Towhee

    200 Red-winged Blackbird

    5 Common Grackle

    1 Blue-winged Warbler -- Confirmed by Ross Green

    1 Black-and-white Warbler

    1 Common Yellowthroat

    1 American Redstart

    1 Magnolia Warbler

    1 Black-throated Blue Warbler

    1 Black-throated Green Warbler

    2 Northern Cardinal

    Number of Taxa: 45

    You can view past postings and historical crane counting data at

  • Wednesday, July 18, 2018 6:03 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Unfortunately, we will need to cancel our 2018 shorebird Trips to Pt. Moulliee SGA this year. We hope to be able to have a trip again next year.

  • Monday, May 28, 2018 7:33 AM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    The Grass Lake Cubscout Pack 4236 Wolves completed the construction and staging of five nest boxes in April.  Jackson Audubon supported this project and provided funding for the purchase of materials.  This project was right in line with our mission “… to instill in the people of Jackson County an interest, knowledge, and appreciation of birds and other wildlife.

    Pack 4236, led by Kimberly Rapert, built the boxes and then staged them at the Grass Lake Warrior Trails and Nature Park.  She reported, “We had a wonderful experience.  First, the boys got to work closely with their parents and learn simple construction.  Second, the boys learned about bluebirds, why they need special protection, and learned where to put such houses.  In addition to our Earth Day trail clean-up and tree planting event, the boys took an active role in positioning the houses, finding east with a compass (to face them), locating water, nesting materials, and close food for the houses, and worked on putting in the poles and predator defense baffles.  Each of the five houses has a boy's initials on it.”

    JAS stressed the importance of both proper placement and management of the houses. Too often these projects provide housing for invasive species, such as House Sparrow, and end up conflicting with the intent of promoting native species like Eastern Bluebird and Tree Swallow.  We are confident this will be a successful project.  Rapert said, “I feel confident the boys felt a genuine investment in caring for nature.”

  • Tuesday, May 15, 2018 7:44 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    The Tuesday Morning Group crossed the county line to visit the wildflower jewel of Washtenaw County this morning.:  The nature Conservancy's Nan Weston Preserve.     The weather cooperated and was cool and kept the mosquitos down.  Joann Balbach lead us on a walk through Trilliums in full bloom.  We also saw Spring Beauty, May Apple, Maiden Hair fern, Violets of various colors, Ragwort, Wild Strawberry, Gooseberry, Solomon Seal & False Solomon Seal, Dwarf Ginseng, Anemone, Phlox, Wild Geranium, and Ginger.

    She shared her knowledge of the various species as well as some folklore and ancient remedies used for some of the plants.

    On the bird front, the thrushes were quite active and Lynn Eckerle spotted a Barred Owl. 

  • Tuesday, April 03, 2018 7:41 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    The Tuesday Morning Group took a drive out to the Muskegon County Wastewater plant today to check out wildfowl on the west side.  Five of us drove along the dikes from the Administrative office past the aeration ponds and around the west pond.  

    The sky was overcast but fair light for viewing. The wind was driving at times and the rain and snow sometimes impeded views.  the west side of the pond was pretty choppy bu the east side drive was much calmer.

    There were lots of scaup and ring neck ducks.  We also saw a Bonaparte's gull and some horned grebes.  Full trip list is below.  Oh, and there were some ring-billed gulls...

    Number of Taxa: 36

    13 Canada Goose -- (1),(2)
    3 Blue-winged Teal -- (2)
    95 Northern Shoveler -- (2)
    55 Gadwall -- (2)
    30 Mallard -- (2)
    12 Redhead -- (2)
    60 Ring-necked Duck -- (2)
    120 Greater/Lesser Scaup -- (2)
    40 Bufflehead -- (2)
    1 Common Goldeneye -- (2)
    6 Common Merganser -- (2)
    3 Ruddy Duck -- (2)
    5 Wild Turkey -- (1)
    7 Horned Grebe -- (2)
    1 Great Blue Heron -- (1)
    2 Turkey Vulture -- (1)
    2 Red-tailed Hawk -- (1),(2)
    50 American Coot -- (2)
    2 Killdeer -- (2)
    1 Bonaparte's Gull -- (2)
    2000 Ring-billed Gull -- (1),(2)
    18 Herring Gull -- (2)
    1 Mourning Dove -- (2)
    1 Downy Woodpecker -- (2)
    7 American Crow -- (1),(2)
    1 Black-capped Chickadee -- (2)
    1 Tufted Titmouse -- (2)
    1 White-breasted Nuthatch -- (2)
    1 Eastern Bluebird -- (2)
    3 American Robin -- (2)
    40 European Starling -- (2)
    2 American Tree Sparrow -- (2)
    8 Dark-eyed Junco -- (2)
    2 Song Sparrow -- (2)
    20 Red-winged Blackbird -- (2)
    5 Common Grackle -- (2)

    Checklists included in this summary:
    (1): JAS Muskegon WWT Trip
    (2): Muskegon Wastewater System

  • Saturday, March 31, 2018 9:10 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    The rain held off most of the morning for the annual Jackson Audubon Society Early Waterfowl Tour.  JAS president Connie Spotts lead eleven members on a driving tour of Jackson area lakes in search of local and migrating waterfowl.

    We started at Watkins Lake State Park.  (And don’t you just love saying “state park” after Watkins Lake?)  While the numbers of birds were not huge, we were not disappointed.  The highlights were Common Loon, Belted Kingfisher, and Common Goldeneye.  But these were overshadowed, or overflown, by a flock of about 20 Tundra Swans to the west.

    From Watkins, we checked out Norvell Lake on Palmer and Austin Roads.  We added Gadwall and our first Tree Swallows for the morning.

    Next, we checked out the north part of Portage Lake in hopes of seeing the White-winged Scoter reported earlier, but did not see it.

    We had lunch at nearby Portage Lake Parlor, a newly opened restaurant on Seymour Rd. at Welch Lake Rd. 

    We finished the trip with two stops, in the rain, at Gilletts Lake.  We had a grebe but could not determine if it was Horned or Eared as it was in transitional plumage.

    The next JAS trip is the Tuesday Morning Group’s visit to the Muskegon Wastewater facility (

    Total species/taxa recorded was 45, complete list is below.

    Number of Checklists: 5
    Number of Taxa: 45

    84 Canada Goose -- (1),(2),(3),(4)
    12 Mute Swan -- (1),(2)
    15 swan sp. -- (1)
    2 Wood Duck -- (3)
    4 Northern Shoveler -- (1),(2)
    3 Gadwall -- (2),(3)
    2 American Wigeon -- (3)
    6 Mallard -- (1),(2),(3)
    1 Redhead -- (4)
    180 Ring-necked Duck -- (1),(2),(3),(4)
    10 Lesser Scaup -- (3)
    10 Greater/Lesser Scaup -- (4)
    50 Bufflehead -- (1),(3),(4)
    1 Common Goldeneye -- (1)
    6 Hooded Merganser -- (1),(3)
    10 Common Merganser -- (1)
    2 Ruddy Duck -- (3)
    1 Common Loon -- (1)
    3 Pied-billed Grebe -- (1),(4)
    1 Horned/Eared Grebe -- (4)
    4 Great Blue Heron -- (1),(2),(3)
    1 Turkey Vulture -- (1)
    1 Bald Eagle -- (3)
    1 Red-tailed Hawk -- (1)
    10 American Coot -- (4)
    10 Sandhill Crane -- (2)
    3 Killdeer -- (1)
    1 Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) -- (5)
    2 Mourning Dove -- (1)
    1 Belted Kingfisher -- (1)
    1 Red-bellied Woodpecker -- (3)
    3 American Crow -- (1)
    2 Tree Swallow -- (2)
    1 Black-capped Chickadee -- (5)
    1 Tufted Titmouse -- (5)
    1 White-breasted Nuthatch -- (5)
    1 Eastern Bluebird -- (1)
    4 American Robin -- (1)
    1 American Tree Sparrow -- (5)
    1 Chipping Sparrow -- (5)
    1 Song Sparrow -- (5)
    1 Northern Cardinal -- (1)
    40 Red-winged Blackbird -- (1),(2)
    10 Common Grackle -- (1)
    1 House Sparrow -- (5)

    Checklists included in this summary:
    (1): Watkins Lake SP
    Date: Mar 31, 2018, 09:30
    (2): Norvell Lake (west)
    Date: Mar 31, 2018, 10:30
    (3): Cutler Rd. and Dunn Rd. wetland
    Date: Mar 31, 2018, 11:15
    (4): Gilletts Lake
    Date: Mar 31, 2018, 14:00
    (5): JAS Early Waterfowl Tour - driving
    Date: Mar 31, 2018, 09:00

  • Tuesday, March 06, 2018 8:36 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Seven members of the JAS Tuesday Morning Group walked the Moeckel Rd. section of the Waterloo Recreation Area on Tuesday.  We were joined by Ron Hoffman who shared stories of his ancestors who lived in the area, including on nearby Hoffman Rd.  

    The bridge over the Portage River is out due to recent high water and beaver activity.  The DNR has closed the bridge.

    Gary Siegrist then led the group on a walk and showed us his favorite area of the area that he frequented in his youth.

    We did see some signs of spring including some Eastern Bluebirds and a lone Song Sparrow.  Complete list of birds is available HERE.

  • Monday, February 12, 2018 4:19 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    JAS member Lynn Ward has provided article by Michigan Bluebird Society president Kurt Hagemeister on how you can Help Bluebirds in Michigan.  

    MBS has announced their Spring Bluebird Festival to take place on March 24th.  The sessions this year will include Purple Martin Conservation and Michigan Birds of Prey, in addition to those on bluebirds. 

    Details on the festival are available at HERE.

  • Wednesday, January 31, 2018 8:09 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Robert Ayotte presented  “Conifers of the Great Lakes Region" at Hidden Lake Gardens on Tuesday.  His excellent program was enjoyed by about 40 people from Jackson Audubon, Men's Garden Club of Jackson, North American Rock Garden Society, and the Ann Arbor Bonsai Society.   Robert provided an in-depth view of our native conifers of Michigan including habitat, pests, and natural distribution.

    Steve Jerant

    The indoor presentation was followed by an outdoor walk around Hidden Lake to see some of these species up close. Robert also shared some amusing and informative stories with the group.

    Lynne Ekerle

    Robert's Presentation is available HERE.

    Steve Jerant

    Special thanks to Mickey Kress for getting this arranged for the Tuesday Morning Group.

    Lynne Ekerle

    Lynne Ekerle

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