Jackson Audubon Society

 The Audubon Society of Jackson County, Michigan

Photos by Doug Leffler, Peg gClevenger, & and Steve Jerant

Call to Action!

Jackson Audubon opposes the proposed Sandhill Crane hunt in Michigan.

  • On October 11, the Michigan House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee voted 5 to 4 to pass House Resolution (HR) 154, which encourages the Michigan Natural Resources Commission to open a recreational sandhill crane hunting season.
  • On October 18, HR 154 was passed in the House.
  • Contact the Natural Resources Commission at 517-284-6237 nrc@michigan.gov to oppose HR 154.


Since its inception in 1904, the Michigan Audubon community has consistently supported and worked for the protection of native bird species. 

  • Sandhill cranes are a distinctive species and are models of fidelity and longevity.
  • They hold the record as the oldest living bird species.
  • As residents of the Jackson area, we have a special association with cranes.  Casper “Cap Haehnle, an avid hunter, deeded his property, now called the Phyllis Haehnle Memorial Sanctuary, for permanent protection for birds and other wildlife to Michigan Audubon. It has grown to over 1000 acres and has become a regional destination for tourists and birders, especially in the autumn. 

The economic benefits from crane viewing.

  • Michigan Audubon, including Haehnle, participated in a study on the value of cranes for tourism a few years ago. The number of crane watchers far outnumbers the potential number of crane hunters.
  • The visitor registry at Haehnle Sanctuary continually records visitors from across the US and other countries.
  • Undoubtedly, hunting related dollars have had a positive impact on all wildlife in Michigan.  But current trends suggest more and more that wildlife watchers are enjoying non-hunting forms of recreation and these citizens are willing to spend their dollars to do so.
  • We question the effect hunting cranes will have on the Sanctuary and tourism in Jackson & Calhoun counties.

Crane population and hunting

  • In 1931, there were only 17 pairs of sandhill cranes in the lower peninsula.  While the bird’s population has recovered, and they are now abundant throughout the Mississippi flyway, we should celebrate this conservation success story rather than risk repeating past mistakes.
  • After years of increasing, the fall population index of cranes in Michigan has leveled off since 2009.  
  • Cranes have one of the lowest recruitment rates, meaning they reproduce at low numbers. 
  • While we recognize that sandhill cranes inflict localized crop damage, it is not widespread. Michigan has already established successful management tools for agricultural stakeholders experiencing issues with this bird.  

Michigan Audubon opposes the proposed Sandhill Crane hunt in the state of Michigan.  

https://www.michiganaudubon.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/SandhillCraneHunting_PositionStatement_2017.pdf

Michigan Audubon post regarding pending action in the Michigan legislature:
https://www.michiganaudubon.org/urgent-calls-needed-today-protect-michigans-sandhill-cranes/

Updated 10/24/2017


Who We Are

The Jackson Audubon Society (JAS) is a chapter of the Michigan Audubon Society. The mission of JAS is to instill in the people of Jackson County an interest, knowledge, and appreciation of birds and other wildlife.

We host monthly wildlife and conservation programs and introduce the public to birds during special walks at local and nearby birding areas. JAS has many knowledgeable and recognized birders who are always happy to help someone new. We get together in December for a Christmas Bird Count and we celebrate Earth Day every year at a public event with the Jackson Area Outdoor Coalition.

JAS promotes sound conservation methods by helping restore wildlife habitat and by helping prevent pollution through education. We sponsor a large number of Audubon classrooms in the area. We were instrumental in bringing back nesting Peregrine Falcons to downtown Jackson. We encourage Consumers Energy to turn its headquarter’s lights out during migration. Our volunteers strive to provide a healthy marsh to encourage Sandhill Crane nesting at the Haehnle Sanctuary where hundreds of people and thousands of cranes congregate during the fall migration.

We preserve outstanding wildlife areas by actively managing the Kate Palmer Sanctuary & the Phyllis Haehnle Memorial Sanctuary and educating the public through tours and events. JAS partners with the Michigan Audubon Society and National Audubon Society and other organizations that are working to conserve our natural resources and protect the environment.

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