Jackson Audubon Society

 The Audubon Society of Jackson County, Michigan

  • Monday, September 27, 2021 9:59 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    We kicked off the 2021 season today. The only cranes that were in the marsh were seen when we arrived this afternoon.  Some cranes were spotted coming down just to our north and others were heard to the south. 

    Egrets made a strong showing tonight and all roosted together with our two cranes.  The sparrows were not too plentiful but we had lots of waxwings feasting on black cherries and pokeberry.  Three Northern Harriers were active during most of our time on the overlook.  They moved over most of the area working the marsh as normal but also coming up the emergent marsh as well as soaring higher in the sky.  Our big treat was a Common Gallinule which is a somewhat rare sighting for Haehnle.

    It was a beautiful afternoon with the colors just barely starting to show.  A few groups of Canada Geese came in just after sundown and a single bat, likely a Big Brown, closed out the night observations. 

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

    Crane Count:  02 (32 total observed)
    Species count:  31


    Canada Goose 22

    Wood Duck 76

    Mallard  1

    Mourning Dove 6

    Common Gallinule 1

    Sandhill Crane 32

    Great Blue Heron 3

    Great Egret 45

    Turkey Vulture 1

    Northern Harrier 3

    Bald Eagle 1

    Red-bellied Woodpecker 1

    Downy Woodpecker 1

    Northern Flicker 1

    American Kestrel 1

    falcon sp. 1

    Blue Jay 7

    American Crow 4

    Black-capped Chickadee 1

    White-breasted Nuthatch 1

    House Wren 2

    Carolina Wren 1

    Gray Catbird 1

    American Robin 10

    Cedar Waxwing 10

    American Goldfinch 7

    Field Sparrow 1

    Song Sparrow 1

    Swamp Sparrow 2

    Red-winged Blackbird 250

    Common Yellowthroat 4

    warbler sp. (Parulidae sp.) 1

    Indigo Bunting 1

    View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S95276343

    You can view past postings and historical crane counting data on the Haehnle web site at http://www.haehnlesanctuary.org/crane-count

  • Thursday, September 09, 2021 7:46 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    The Haehnle newsletter has been released for fall 2001.  It is available on the Haehnle website at this LINK.

    Hope to see you at the Sanctuary this fall!

  • 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 https://ebird.org/checklist/S77211321

    You can view past postings and historical crane counting data on the Haehnle web site at http://www.haehnlesanctuary.org/crane-count

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