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 Jackson Audubon Society

 The Audubon Society of Jackson County, Michigan

  • Tuesday, July 06, 2021 12:00 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Eleven JAS members and some guests toured Haehnle on Tuesday lead by Gary Siegrist.  He provided some history of the sanctuary and we got some insight into the wildflowers in bloom. 


    It was hot and there were many mosquitoes.  

    eBird list

  • Tuesday, June 22, 2021 12:00 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    The weather was perfect today for a walk trough the grassland trails at Watkins Lake.  Our group of 15 started on the east side and walked the trail to the lookout of the wetland to the north. After returning to parking are we continued west to the upland grassland area to walk the red trail loop.

    Highlight species include:

    • Northern Rough-winged Swallow
    • Eastern Towhee
    • Bobolink
    • Eastern Meadowlark
    • Scarlet Tanager

    See the trip's eBird checklist  for full species list.

  • Thursday, May 20, 2021 10:38 AM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Our spring summer 2021 Newsletter has been published. Articles include backlog due to Covid.  See Gary Siegrist updates on the 2020 CBC & Haehnle, Gary Mason on Lime Lake Fen, Becky's Birding during a pandemic, and more.

  • Tuesday, April 27, 2021 12:00 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)
  • Tuesday, February 09, 2021 1:04 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Gary Siegrist provided a tour to a few JAS members who braved a moderately cold morning today.  We had lots of sunshine and no real wind until the end of our walk.  Gary lead the group on a loop walk showing of the new section of trail from the woods into the prairie at the rear of the sanctuary.   

    Birds of note were an immature Bald Eagle and a Brown Creeper.  See eBird posting for more details.

  • Wednesday, December 30, 2020 7:09 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Jackson Audubon Waterloo Christmas Bird Count 2020

    With only a couple of leaders reporting in it looks like some good birds were found but with numbers of birds counted down. Joyce Peterson reported 5000+ cranes Saturday morning with other leaders that have reported in also seeing cranes in their areas. Rough-legged Hawk (2), Merlin, and lots of Bald Eagles were seen and Purple Finch and Pine Siskin filled in some of the winter finches. On the Hoffman Trail where the water flows over the old dike, I found in five minutes Swamp Sparrow (1), Northern Shrike (1), and called in a Virginia Rail. If you go look for the rail, wear knee boots as there is water flowing over the dike from the edge of the woods to the start of the grassland. 

    Gary Siegrist

  • Monday, December 28, 2020 4:59 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Sandhill Cranes - Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area - McNeal, AZ

    By Doug Leffler 12/01/2020

    When Sandy and I were in southeast Arizona a couple of weeks ago, we stopped by the Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area (WDWA) which is situated a few miles to the southwest of McNeal, Arizona.  Access to WDWA can be reached by taking W, Davis Road west out of McNeal (U.S. Highway 191 runs north and south through McNeal) and taking N. Coffman Road about 2-1/2 miles south to the entrance.

    A trail leads back from the parking area to an overlook where MASSIVE numbers of cranes and other waterfowl can be observed at close range.  Afternoon sun is perfect for photography from the trail overlook, and it's fun watching individuals or groups of birds cavorting around.  There are also a couple of benches along the trail where one can sit and watch for an extended period.

    Attached are a few of my favorite photos from the visit.  I'm also including a shot of a canyon towhee that I took back at the parking lot as were were leaving.  He seemed oblivious to us, while snacking on tidbits on the ground!

    all photos by Doug Leffler

  • Monday, December 07, 2020 8:54 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Winter has arrived but some Black Ducks were able to find the small amount of liquid water left in Mud Lake Marsh.  We had a flyby of an adult Bald Eagle and a pair of Red-tailed Hawks. They flew by during one of the short periods where the setting sun lit up the vegetation and turned it a brilliant golden.   One lone muskrat was spotted feasting on some frozen veggies.

    And yes, we did have some cranes.  We expected to see none, so the 60 or so that came into the marsh were a bit of a surprise.  Some were coaxed out to find better digs for the evening, but 41 will be staying.

    This will be out final count for the year.  Once the ice is set in the marsh, the cranes no longer come to roost.  The Phyllis Haehnle Memorial Sanctuary is open all year round and each season offers different opportunities.  So, while the cranes may not be here until next spring, you don’t have to be a stranger.  Please visit if you can and enjoy this gem of Jackson county.

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

    Crane Count:  41 (115 total observed)
    Species count:  19

    Canada Goose  67

    Mute Swan  3

    Mallard  36

    American Black Duck  6

    Sandhill Crane  115    41 roosting in marsh

    Bald Eagle  2

    Red-tailed Hawk  2

    Northern Flicker  2

    Blue Jay  1

    Black-capped Chickadee  1

    White-breasted Nuthatch  1

    Carolina Wren  2

    European Starling  9

    Eastern Bluebird  12

    American Robin  8

    Cedar Waxwing  31

    American Goldfinch  1

    American Tree Sparrow  5

    Northern Cardinal  1

    View this checklist online at

    You can view past postings and historical crane counting data on the Haehnle web site at

  • 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  

    You can view past postings and historical crane counting data on the Haehnle web site at 

  • 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

    You can view past postings and historical crane counting data on the Haehnle web site at

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