Log in

 Jackson Audubon Society

 The Audubon Society of Jackson County, Michigan

  • Wednesday, October 04, 2017 10:06 AM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Jackson Audubon Trip to Burke Lake Banding Station

    By Pegg Clevenger

    You’d never know it by driving down Clark Road in Bath Township that by taking a short walk from a small parking area (located about a mile east of Upton Road) to Michigan State University’s Burke Lake Banding Station that scientists and birds converge. Burke Lake Banding Station performs important data collection in a tent in the woods (by permit from the DNR) near Burke Lake during fall and spring migration.  On most mornings the station is busy with bird and human activity.

    The Tuesday morning Jackson Audubon group was warmly welcomed by the workers, and the experience was educational and thrilling. Going into the woods with the college interns, the narrow planked paths led to many stations of mist nets.  Six or seven birds in each net meant swift action by the trained students. The feathered captives were gently removed and carefully placed into soft fabric bags. Large birds went into wooden boxes with cubby-holes lined with paper.

    Back in the tent the birds were gently weighed, inspected for ticks, measured, blown upon to see their fat and muscle formation and quietly identified, banded and recorded. The intern stepped out with a bird in hand and visitors gathered to examine the beautiful feathers and identify the bird. The migrants were held up in the dappled sunlight for photos. If you held out your palm, the bird was placed there for release.

    Even the paper lining the cubby-holes was charted for berry content left by the individual bird-feces. I learned the true value through recorded data of planting the preferred native spice bush vs. invasive honeysuckle. Examining the tiny kinglets and warblers up-close, observing a sapsucker from all sides, and holding a peewee for many minutes made a connection I could never make through binoculars!

    For more information about the station, check out the Burke Lake Banding Staion’s web site:

  • Monday, October 02, 2017 9:48 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Visitors and crane counters watched about 500 cranes fly into the Mud Lake marsh tonight against a beautiful autumn sky.  Two Northern harriers provided a nice warm up act while we waited for the cranes to come in.   

    The Haehnle eBird checklist of 26 species is available at:

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

    Crane Count-495
    Species count-26

    You can view past postings and historical crane counting data at

  • Monday, September 25, 2017 6:58 AM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Haehnle crane counters observed 385 cranes Sunday evening. There were 112 Great Egrets.

    Don Henise's eBird checklist of 46 species is available at:

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

    Crane Count-385
    Species count-46

    Crane counts move to Monday nights Starting on October 2.

  • Friday, September 22, 2017 9:01 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Five members of  Jackson Audubon traveled to Erie Metropark to check out the raptor migrations.  We were able to meet up with new JAS member Chuck M. who came up from Ohio and spent the morning with him while it was still dry.

    While we were not the only ones there on Tuesday, it was bit disappointing as we saw zero raptors.  Some of the group took a stroll along the trail and boardwalk and did get a view of some birds and the beautiful American Lotus plants that thrive in that area.  

     Brenda Wineman shared her eBird post, available at
    While not on that list, and for the record, I did spot a red tail perched on a tree off of I-94 on our drive back home, so we were not totally raptor-free for the day.

    As I often say, "nature ain't Disney" and we take the bad days with the good ones.  Four of us got to have a lunch at a great local burger place on the way back and had an enjoyable drive.  

  • Sunday, September 17, 2017 9:22 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Don Henise reports that the crane counts continue to rise at the Sanctuary.

    Highlights were eight species of raptors including a couple of Broad-winged Hawk Kettles, one of which was over 70 birds.  Also of note were 20+ Great Egrets, 22 Common Nighthawks, and 374 Sandhill Cranes roosting.

    His eBird checklist of 49 species is available at:

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

    Crane Count-374

    Species count-49

    You can view past postings and historical crane counting data at 

  • Monday, September 11, 2017 8:50 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    With the water levels in Mud Lake Marsh back to more normal depths, the observers counted 147 Greater Sandhill Cranes flying into the sanctuary to roost.

    You can view past postings and historical crane counting data at 

    Crane counters:    Don Henise and Gary Siegrist
    Compiler:  Gary Siegrist
    Submitted by Gary Siegrist

    Crane Count-147

    Species count-27

    2 – Trumpeter Swan

    78 – Canada Goose

    5 – Wood Duck

    23 – Mallard

    7 – Blue-wing Teal

    1 – Greater Yellowlegs

    79 – Great Egret

    3 – Great Blue Heron

    147 – Greater Sandhill Crane

    2 – Turkey Vulture

    1 – Northern Harrier (juvenile)

    1 – Coopers Hawk (juvenile – female)

    2 – Red-tailed Hawk

    1 – Merlin

    12 – Common Nighthawk

    1 – Morning Dove

    5 – Blue Jay

    5 – Barn Swallow

    1 – Eastern Phoebe

    1 – Gray Catbird

    3 – Eastern Bluebird

    1 – Veery

    12 – American Robin

    41 – Cedar Waxwing

    500+ - Red-winged Blackbird

    2000+ - mixed flock of blackbirds

    1 – Common Grackle

    Note* Also had shorebird flocks flying around the we did not identify.

  • Tuesday, August 29, 2017 9:54 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    JAS Shorebird Trip II to Pt. Mouillee 

    Saturday, August 26, 2017

    Submitted by: Ross Green

    Four Jackson Audubon members traveled to Point Mouillee State Game Area on the last Saturday of August to continue their quest to locate migrating shorebirds and wading birds.  They were joined by a group of four other birders visiting from Isabella, Genesee, Wayne and Macomb counties.  At least 69 bird species were reported as seen or heard from somebody in the group.  

    With perfect weather conditions, we started the Mouillee visit on foot, parking at the Mouillee Creek lot and walking a mile or so in to access a reported shorebird “hotspot.”  A good number and variety of shorebirds were viewed there by all, along with a few ducks and several other bird species.

    Later in the morning we drove into the Sigler Rd. entrance and made our way along the north causeway and then eventually to the loop around the Vermet Unit.  Our goal was to find the recently reported Tri-colored Heron.  While we didn’t have any luck with that bird, we did locate and get great close-up looks at a Red Knot, a medium sized shorebird that occasionally finds its way through Michigan during Fall migration.  There were also 7 Snowy Egrets seen in the same general area.  A second loop of Vermet later in the afternoon resulted in similar results.

    A drive to the south side of the State Game Area near Roberts Rd. resulted in a very brief audio encounter with a singing male Blue Grosbeak.  A rare bird for Michigan, it had recently been reported seen in the area with a nesting female.

    A big thank you to Don and Robyn Henise for organizing the trip, and to Mickey Kress for getting the Jackson group there and back safely.

    A complete eBird checklist with many photos is available at:



  • Wednesday, August 16, 2017 8:30 AM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Nine Jackson Audubon members traveled to southeast Michigan to the Point Mouillee State Game Area on Tuesday to observe migrating shorebirds. We were not disappointed.  We observed, or heard, 68 species.  

    Steve Jerant

    We had a bit of rain at our gathering spot and for most of the drive, but the storm went to the north of us and we had only a small sprinkle.  JAS garnered a permit for the DNR to drive three vehicles along the dikes at the Pt. Moo facility. This enabled us to move about fairly quickly to hotpots of reported activity.  

    In addition to the usual finds, we had some unusual/rare sightings, including a juvenile Little Blue Heron, Willet, and Long & Short-billed Dowitcher.

    This trip, like the next one on next Saturday, August 26, was organized and led by Robyn & Don Henise.  Thanks to them for their work on this as well as to Don for the checklist and Ross Green for his recon and photos in the checklist.

    Complete eBird checklist available at:

    If you missed this trip and are interested in visiting a premier regional shorebird hotspot, JAS is sponsoring another trip soon.

  • Tuesday, July 11, 2017 8:08 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Michigan Audubon has communicated its opposition to proposals for sandhill crane an mourning dove proposals.  

    Read the Sanhill Crane Hunting Proposal

    Read the Mourning Dove Hunting Proposal

  • Wednesday, May 24, 2017 1:10 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Twelve birders from Jackson Audubon braved the rain and the cold on May 2 to visit Magee Marsh, east of Toledo.  This location is generally a hotspot of warbler activity during the spring, but as I often say, “nature is not Disney.” You have good days and not so good days.  While the group only saw five warblers, there were, as always, other highlights to the trip.  Three vireos were counted and a whip-poor-will was lounging within view of the boardwalk.  The high wind and the rain made for some difficult viewing and we stayed off the easternmost exposed portion of the boardwalk.

    Some of the group continued to the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge to look for shorebirds.  We were treated to a large flock of greater yellowlegs.  In among the shorebirds was a group of American Pipits.  We tried to council a killdeer against setting up her nest on the path to an observation tower but I don’t think she was listening. 

    Spring is a great time of year for bird watching. On the same day, I saw my first of year purple martins and likely last of season juncos.   It reminds me how much I enjoy the change of the seasons and lets me pause to reflect on the past and look forward to the future.

    Species list:

    Double-crested Cormorant

    Great Blue Heron

    Great Egret

    Turkey Vulture

    Canada Goose

    Wood Duck


    Greater Scaup


    Bald Eagle

    Red-tailed Hawk

    Sandhill Crane


    Greater Yellowlegs

    Solitary Sandpiper

    Spotted Sandpiper


    Wilson's Snipe

    Ring-billed Gull

    Herring Gull

    Common Tern

    Rock Pigeon

    Mourning Dove


    Belted Kingfisher

    Downy Woodpecker

    Least Flycatcher

    Eastern Kingbird

    Purple Martin

    Tree Swallow

    N. Rough-winged Swallow

    Bank Swallow

    Barn Swallow

    American Crow

    House Wren

    Ruby-crowned Kinglet

    Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

    Eastern Bluebird


    Swainson's Thrush

    American Robin

    Gray Catbird

    Brown Thrasher

    American Pipit

    Cedar Waxwing

    European Starling

    Blue-headed Vireo

    Warbling Vireo

    Red-eyed Vireo

    Yellow Warbler

    Black-throated Blue Warbler

    Blackburnian Warbler

    Palm Warbler

    Scarlet Tanager

    Northern Cardinal

    Song Sparrow

    White-throated Sparrow

    Dark-eyed Junco

    Red-winged Blackbird

    Common Grackle

    Brown-headed Cowbird

    Northern Oriole

    American Goldfinch

    House Sparrow

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software