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 Jackson Audubon Society

 The Audubon Society of Jackson County, Michigan

  • Monday, November 21, 2022 8:18 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    It wasn’t looking good tonight as we looked out on the snow covered marsh with the open water about 80% frozen.

    But then the cranes started to trickle in.  Three pioneers held out alone on the ice for what seemed like forever.  The first several groups looked a bit undecided, but they continued to circle and land on the ice with the others. 

    There were odd flight patterns that I’ve never seen before. Cranes came in from the west, then just as they approached Eagle lake they swung east, and then came in from the east.  Likely they were looking for another spot to land.  We also had lots of activity and landing near Eagle Lake and Ross reported a lot of ducks there as well.

    Total crane count was 1600, with many more to the west and north not counted.

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

    Species count:  18

    View Haehnle eBird checklist at

  • Tuesday, November 15, 2022 5:17 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Nine of us went on a morning tour of the Dahlem Center today.  There was light snow and just a bit of wind.  It was quiet and not a lot of bird activity but it's always a treat to walk the property, especially through the conifers in the winter.  

    Some of the group followed the outing with a lunch at Knights.

    (Steve Jerant)

    eBird Checklist

  • Monday, November 14, 2022 9:21 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Another great week of crane activity at the Sanctuary.  The count team, and we once again need a team to count them all, tallied 3,331 cranes staying in Mud Lake Marsh tonight.  And they estimated an additional 2,000-3,000 settling in locations north of the property.  Most of the traffic is still coming from the west.  I counted over 2K cranes from the Dalton/Hawkins Rds. area last night which were heading in the direction of Haehnle Sanctuary.

    (Steve Jerant)

    We had several nice overflights above the observation area and 3 small murmuration of blackbirds way out over the marsh.

    Two Mute Swan, likely displaced from the drained lake to our south, joined the 13 other species of varied waterbirds on our list this afternoon.  And Tundra Swans were heard above, but not seen.

    (Steve Jerant)

    The weather is starting to chill, but it was not too windy, so we stayed comfortable. 

    Greeters will continue to staff the overlook area on Saturdays and Sundays until the end of November. 

    (Steve Jerant)

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

    Species count:  39

    View Don’s eBird checklist at eBird Checklist - 14 Nov 2022 - Haehnle Sanctuary - 39 species

  • Monday, November 07, 2022 9:51 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    We had a spectacular moon rise as the sun was setting.

    (Don Henise)

    Crane Count: 3,461 (2,283 Stayed in Mud Lake Marsh)

    Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  500

    Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)  4

    Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator)  2

    Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)  3

    Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)  3

    Gadwall (Mareca strepera)  3

    American Wigeon (Mareca americana)  15

    Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  400

    American Black Duck (Anas rubripes)  8

    Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)  1

    Green-winged Teal (American) (Anas crecca carolinensis)  30

    Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris)  80

        Eagle Lake

    Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)  24

        Eagle Lake

    Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)  4

        Eagle Lake

    American Coot (Fulica americana)  50

    Sandhill Crane (Antigone canadensis)  3461

        2283 cranes roosting in Mud Lake Marsh, 1178 flybys

    Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)  1

    Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)  7

    Great Egret (Ardea alba)  1

    Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  2

    Northern Harrier (Circus hudsonius)  1

    Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus)  1

    Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)  2

    Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)  6

        Individually counted - 4 adults,  1 imm 1st yr, 1 near adult 4th year with dark terminal band on white tail

    Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)  1

    Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)  4

    Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)  2

    Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens)  1

    Hairy Woodpecker (Dryobates villosus)  1

    Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus)  1

    Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) (Colaptes auratus auratus/luteus)  1

    Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)  2

    American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  5

    Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  2

    Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris)  3

    White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)  1

    Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)  3

    American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  6

    Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)  4

    Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus)  1

    American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  10

    Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) (Junco hyemalis hyemalis/carolinensis)  1

    White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)  1

    Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  2

    Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  2000


    Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)  50

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

    Species count:  50

    View Don’s eBird checklist at

  • Tuesday, November 01, 2022 3:31 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Eight members of JAS turned out this morning to see what wildfowl was coming through the Watkins Lake State Park.  This park is in Jackson and Washtenaw counties, the dividing line aligns roughly with Arnold Road. This road bisects the lake, so it's a great viewing platform for the water birds.

    (Steve Jerant)

    While the weather was a bit dreary, we were greeted by the local Northern Mockingbird that hangs out near the parking lot and road out to the west of the park.  As usual, we had lots of Canada Goose (3,000), Ring-neck Duck (2,000), and Ruddy Duck (150).  In total there were 18 species of waterfowl, gull and waders were observed.  A huge (2000) raft of Canada Goose came over. ( ) 

    We noticed a school of fish coming up to the surface of the water to take a gulp of air.

    (Lynn Eckerle)

    This site has some NATIVE American Bittersweet (Celastrus scandens)on the roadside.  The berries are in clumps, generally at the terminus of the stem.

    (Lynn Eckerle)

    (Lynn Eckerle)

    At the end of the walk down the road a Bald Eagle was perched and caught the sun perfectly for a naked eye, binocular, and scope view.

    (Lynn Eckerle)

    See the eBird list at

  • Monday, October 31, 2022 9:36 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Tonight, we had three teams counting at Haehnle and locations north of the sanctuary for the annual USFWS Fall Sandhill Crane Survey.  Haehnle volunteers participate each year to contribute to this nationwide crane count managed by the US Fish & Wildlife Service.  Data from this survey help wildlife managers make sound decisions about cranes based on population estimates.

    Gary Siegrist and Don & Robyn Henise worked Haehnle per the usual Monday schedule. The other two teams of Ron Hoffman & Ross Green and Lathe Claflin &  Steve Jerant worked two portions of a neighboring property north of the Sanctuary.  No counts were done in the Hawkins & Dalton Rds. area as the crane counts these past weeks have been low. 

    Gary and the Henise’s reported 1,297 cranes observed, of which 779 remained in the marsh for the evening.  Lathe & I counted 1,755 total with 1714 staying on the property. Ron & Ross counted…0.  This was we thought odd as they were in an area we saw many cranes moving towards from our station, but alas, they did not have any land for the evening.

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

    Crane Count: 1,297 (779 Stayed in Mud Lake Marsh)

    Species count:  39

    View Don’s eBird checklist at

  • Monday, October 24, 2022 9:25 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    We had great weather for our biggest count of the season.  The temp was in the 70’s with a light breeze.  A bit more sun to bring out the colors would have made it perfection.  Cranes came in from all directions tonight, and we had about half a dozen flights over the observation area.  In addition to the crane overflights, we had a pair of Mute Swans put on a bit of a show flying over us twice.  The second time reminding us that even though they are called mute, it’s not because their wings are silent.

    A single, Big Brown bat came early and stayed late tonight.  It flew back and forth over the grassland to the west of us.  I really think it was seriously checking out our newly installed bat house…

    360 cranes were observed with 294 of them staying overnight.  And only about half of those 66 were long distance observations, so fewer cranes are coming in and then leaving.  Conditions are looking very good for high numbers this year.

    We’ve released an updated Crane hotspot map, available HERE.

    Next week, some of use will be doing the annual USFWS counts around Jackson County so I’ll try to get some of those numbers on next week's report. 

    (Steve Jerant)

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

    Crane Count: 360 (294 Stayed in Mud Lake Marsh)

    Species count:  26

    Species       Count



    Canada Goose


    Mute Swan


    Trumpeter Swan


    Wood Duck


    American Wigeon




    American Black Duck


    American Coot


    Sandhill Crane




    Great Blue Heron


    Northern Harrier


    Bald Eagle


    Red-bellied Woodpecker


    Downy Woodpecker


    Hairy Woodpecker


    Blue Jay


    Tufted Titmouse


    Carolina Wren


    European Starling


    Eastern Bluebird


    American Robin


    Cedar Waxwing


    White-throated Sparrow


    Red-winged Blackbird


    Rusty Blackbird


    View eBird checklist

  • Tuesday, October 18, 2022 11:30 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    On Tuesday JAS restarted tours with the Michigan Nature Association after a long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The McCulley-Bastian Nature Sanctuary is a property adjacent to the River Raisin near Adrian.  This was named by early French settlers due to the amount of grapes seen on its bank.  But the traditional name for this river is the Nummasepee, the River of Sturgeon.

    One of the property owners, Barb McCulley, joined us for our walk. It was a treat not only to meet the previous owner but get some insight into the history of the property.

    In addition to lots of Tulip poplar (my favorite tree), mature sycamore, red oak,  and maples, there were some interesting understory plants that were new to some of us.

    Moonseed Menispermum canadense
    (Steve Jerant)

    Palm Sedge MCarex muskingumensis
    (Steve Jerant)

    Robyn was able to get close enough to this puffball for a game ball photo for us.

    (Steve Jerant)

    Rachel Maranto led us up and down the high slopes along the river.  We transitioned from a mature riparian forest to a tract transitioning from old agricultural field with trees planted in the 1980's.

    (Steve Jerant)

    Oh, the birding? Well there was not a lot of activity, but we had a wonderful trip and finished up with some cider and donuts, compliments of our hosts, Barb & Duane!

    3 Canada Goose
    2 Sandhill Crane
    1 Great Blue Heron
    4 Turkey Vulture
    1 Sharp-shinned Hawk
    1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
    2 Blue Jay
    2 Black-capped Chickadee
    1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
    1 White-breasted Nuthatch
    1 Carolina Wren
    2 American Robin
    1 Northern Cardinal

    Number of Taxa: 13

    Trip eBird list 

  • Monday, October 17, 2022 9:43 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    At 4:37 PM the sun came out.  Then at 4:41 PM, it clouded over and started to drizzle again.  But it was a beautiful moment.  Although it did get very dark, we had some openings, then a rainbow, a little one, but it came down just some hundred yards north of the apple tree below us.  Around 6:30 the sun broke through and lit up the marsh and the trees in the far distance.  Haehnle is really a great place to watch weather.

    Ross and I worked the crane count this afternoon till after sundown. We saw 197 cranes with 147 of them staying the evening. We had several direct flyovers but most of the traffic came from the west.  We had some ducks in the close water and Trumpeter & Mute swans in the back water.  A pair of Wilson’s Snip did two flyovers for us. American Robins and of course blackbirds were in great abundance tonight. The robins buzzing over our heads and the blackbirds in the marsh. We even saw a few small murmuration.

    Six visitors braved the conditions for a view of the cranes tonight.  The best viewing time for cranes in the last hour before sunset.

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

    Crane Count: 197 (147 Stayed in Mud Lake Marsh)
    Species count:  29

    Canada Goose 6

    Mute Swan 4

    Trumpeter Swan 2

    Wood Duck 19

    Mallard 32

    American Black Duck 5

    dabbling duck sp. 20

    Ring-necked Duck 12

    Pied-billed Grebe 1

    Sandhill Crane 197

    Killdeer 1

    Wilson's Snipe 2

    Double-crested Cormorant 1

    Great Blue Heron 1

    Turkey Vulture 2

    Northern Harrier 5

    Red-bellied Woodpecker 1

    Downy Woodpecker 1

    Northern Flicker 1

    Blue Jay 6

    American Crow 1

    Tufted Titmouse 1

    European Starling 20

    Eastern Bluebird 3

    American Robin 250

    Cedar Waxwing 27

    White-throated Sparrow 2

    Red-winged Blackbird 825

    Common Grackle 6

    blackbird sp. 100

    Yellow-rumped Warbler 2

    View Ross’s eBird checklist at

  • Monday, October 03, 2022 10:41 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Ross did an abbreviated count last week (09/26) in the rain, all by himself. He had only 3 cranes for his effort.

    This week, better weather brought out a full crew to count cranes at Haehnle Sanctuary.  The team counted 45 species.  The 41 Ross tabulated plus American Bittern & Blue-winged Teal seen by Don and 2 Bald Eagles & Turkey Vulture seen by Robyn.

    Crane counters:   Don & Robyn Henise, Mike Bowen & Ross Green
    Compiler:  Ross Green
    Submitted by Steve Jerant

    Crane Count: 19
    Species count:  45

    View Ross’s eBird checklist at

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