Jackson Audubon Society

 The Audubon Society of Jackson County, Michigan

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  • Monday, October 15, 2018 9:34 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    We are back in business!  345 cranes will be spending the night in the Mud Lake Marsh this evening.  A total of 451 were observed.  Nearly 300 of them flew in about 6:40 PM in the span of about 2 minutes!  We heard lots of juveniles as they flew by. 

    We had an unofficial count of nearly 500 on Saturday evening.

    A small group of egrets and a solo great blue heron also settled in for the evening.  Temperatures in the low 40s and a 15 mph wind meant no mosquitoes this week. 


    eBird checklist is available at:   https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S49222463

    Crane counters:   Don Henise, & Steve Jerant
    Compiler:  Steve Jerant
    Submitted by Steve Jerant

    Crane Count:  345, 451 observed flying in area
    Species count:  29

    Species

    Count

    Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

    50

    Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator)

    5

    Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)

    40

    Blue-winged Teal (Spatula discors)

    2

    Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)

    3

    Gadwall (Mareca strepera)

    30

    American Wigeon (Mareca americana)

    5

    Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

    300

    American Black Duck (Anas rubripes)

    1

    Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris)

    30

    Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)

    1

    Sandhill Crane (Antigone canadensis)

    451

    Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)

    3

    Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

    1

    Great Egret (Ardea alba)

    7

    Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)

    2

    Northern Harrier (Circus hudsonius)

    3

    Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus)

    1

    Accipiter sp. (Accipiter sp.)

    1

    Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

    2

    Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

    2

    Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)

    3

    Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)

    10

    American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

    100

    Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)

    20

    Field Sparrow (Spizella pusilla)

    4

    Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)

    6

    Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana)

    10

    Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)

    500

    Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus)

    2

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

  • Monday, October 08, 2018 9:18 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    The crane count totaled 36 on this unseasonably warm day.  There are lots of cranes in the Jackson area but we did not see a lot of activity over the marsh or to the north.  As with previous weeks we did have several groups coming into the Sanctuary above the overlook, so visitors did get some close views of the cranes.  Three egrets and one heron were seen as well as a trumpeter swan.  The black birds were active, and we observed several large flocks.  The species count was fairly high, see below.  We closed the evening with a visit from two bats, likely big browns.

    eBird checklist is available HERE 

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

    Crane Count:  38, 44 observed flying in area
    Species count:  46

    Species

    Count

    Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

    55

    Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator)

    1

    Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)

    15

    Blue-winged Teal (Spatula discors)

    4

    Gadwall (Mareca strepera)

    8

    American Wigeon (Mareca americana)

    5

    Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

    300

    American Black Duck (Anas rubripes)

    4

    Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)

    4

    Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca)

    35

    Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris)

    30

    Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)

    1

    Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)

    1

    American Coot (Fulica americana)

    1

    Sandhill Crane (Antigone canadensis)

    44

    Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

    1

    Great Egret (Ardea alba)

    3

    Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)

    6

    Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)

    1

    Northern Harrier (Circus hudsonius)

    2

    Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

    2

    Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

    1

    Eastern Screech-Owl (Megascops asio)

    1

    Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)

    1

    Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)

    2

    Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens)

    2

    Hairy Woodpecker (Dryobates villosus)

    1

    Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)

    1

    Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe)

    1

    Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)

    15

    American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

    3

    Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)

    1

    White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)

    3

    Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)

    5

    American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

    100

    European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

    13

    Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)

    11

    American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)

    1

    Field Sparrow (Spizella pusilla)

    5

    White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)

    2

    Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)

    11

    Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana)

    14

    Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)

    2000

    Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)

    50

    Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)

    1

    Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

    2

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


  • Monday, October 01, 2018 9:27 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Despite increasing fog settling over the marsh, we are happy to report an increase in the crane count from last week.  We observed 145 cranes settling in for the evening.  Most of the traffic came in near the overlook area with several flying directly over us.

    Sparrows and warblers as well as egrets and herons were seen tonight.  A flock of chimney swifts came by, but not low enough to help with the mosquitoes that were visiting with us.  We always check the flocks of blackbirds and were rewarded with about 15 rusty blackbirds added to our count.

    eBird checklist is available at:   https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S48876395

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


    Crane Count:  145, 157 observed flying in area
    Species count:  37

    Species

    Count

    Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

    10

    Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)

    10

    Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

    3

    Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)

    2

    Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica)

    16

    American Coot (Fulica americana)

    5

    Sandhill Crane (Antigone canadensis)

    157

    Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)

    1

    Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

    2

    Great Egret (Ardea alba)

    3

    Northern Harrier (Circus hudsonius)

    1

    Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)

    1

    Accipiter sp. (Accipiter sp.)

    1

    Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)

    2

    Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens)

    1

    Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)

    1

    Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)

    20

    American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

    3

    Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)

    3

    Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)

    5

    Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)

    1

    White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)

    2

    Brown Creeper (Certhia americana)

    1

    Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)

    2

    Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus)

    1

    American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

    150

    Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)

    75

    American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)

    15

    Field Sparrow (Spizella pusilla)

    1

    Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)

    6

    Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana)

    21

    Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)

    2000

    Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus)

    15

    Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)

    20

    Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)

    1

    Black-throated Blue Warbler (Setophaga caerulescens)

    1

    Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

    1

    You can view past postings and historical crane counting data athttp://www.haehnlesanctuary.org/crane-count
  • Monday, September 24, 2018 8:33 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Haehnle Sanctuary Crane Count 09/24/2018

    Our rainy, dreary afternoon was brightened by over a hundred cranes coming into the Sanctuary.  This was our second official count week and the numbers are going in the right direction.   The cranes arrived earlier than usual and flew in fast (but not furious) and seemed more determined to land than they have been in the past year.   We had several flyovers above the overlook which is always a treat.

    Great egrets continue to roost as well as a few herons.  Ross found some migrating warblers and we had a big overflight of robins.

    eBird checklist is available at:   https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S48726998

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

    Crane Count:  104, 106 observed flying in area
    Species count:  35

    Species

    Count

    Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

    6

    swan sp. (Cygnus sp.)

    1

    Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)

    15

    Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

    15

    Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)

    2

    Sandhill Crane (Antigone canadensis)

    106

    Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

    4

    Great Egret (Ardea alba)

    6

    Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)

    1

    Northern Harrier (Circus hudsonius)

    1

    Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)

    1

    Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)

    1

    Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)

    1

    Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens)

    2

    Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)

    1

    Eastern Wood-Pewee (Contopus virens)

    3

    Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)

    5

    American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

    5

    Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)

    4

    Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)

    1

    White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)

    3

    House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)

    2

    Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula)

    1

    American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

    50

    Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)

    1

    American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)

    6

    Field Sparrow (Spizella pusilla)

    2

    Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)

    5

    Lincoln's Sparrow (Melospiza lincolnii)

    3

    Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana)

    3

    Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)

    3000

    Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)

    1

    American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla)

    1

    Bay-breasted Warbler (Setophaga castanea)

    1

    Black-throated Blue Warbler (Setophaga caerulescens)

    1

    Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

    1

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


  • Tuesday, September 11, 2018 7:17 AM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Haehnle Sanctuary began weekly crane counts Monday afternoon.  Ross Green & I observed only 14 cranes passing through and none stayed overnight.  The weather was mild and while it was cloudy most of the time, we did get a treat of some yellow sun splash that turned incoming egrets yellow and gave us a hint of fall colors coming to the marsh.

    In addition to the egrets, other highlights included chimney swifts, a barred owl, and an end of day serenade from some field sparrows.  Ross had a good afternoon with 8 warbler and vireo species.


    eBird checklist is available at:   https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S48432409

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

    Crane Count:  0, 14 observed flying in area
    Species count:  45

    30 Canada Goose

    10 Wood Duck

    3 Blue-winged Teal

    100 Mallard

    2 Mourning Dove

    2 Common Nighthawk

    8 Chimney Swift

    2 Ruby-throated Hummingbird

    14 Sandhill Crane

    4 Great Blue Heron

    8 Great Egret

    1 Turkey Vulture

    1 Northern Harrier

    1 Great Horned Owl

    1 Red-bellied Woodpecker

    1 Downy Woodpecker

    1 Hairy Woodpecker

    2 Northern Flicker

    1 Eastern Wood-Pewee

    1 Least Flycatcher

    1 Red-eyed Vireo

    4 Blue Jay

    3 American Crow

    3 Black-capped Chickadee

    2 White-breasted Nuthatch

    2 Eastern Bluebird

    1 Wood Thrush

    150 American Robin

    2 Gray Catbird

    500 European Starling

    36 Cedar Waxwing

    55 American Goldfinch

    3 Field Sparrow

    5 Song Sparrow

    1 Eastern Towhee

    200 Red-winged Blackbird

    5 Common Grackle

    1 Blue-winged Warbler -- Confirmed by Ross Green

    1 Black-and-white Warbler

    1 Common Yellowthroat

    1 American Redstart

    1 Magnolia Warbler

    1 Black-throated Blue Warbler

    1 Black-throated Green Warbler

    2 Northern Cardinal

    Number of Taxa: 45

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


  • Wednesday, July 18, 2018 6:03 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    Unfortunately, we will need to cancel our 2018 shorebird Trips to Pt. Moulliee SGA this year. We hope to be able to have a trip again next year.

  • Monday, May 28, 2018 7:33 AM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    The Grass Lake Cubscout Pack 4236 Wolves completed the construction and staging of five nest boxes in April.  Jackson Audubon supported this project and provided funding for the purchase of materials.  This project was right in line with our mission “… to instill in the people of Jackson County an interest, knowledge, and appreciation of birds and other wildlife.

    Pack 4236, led by Kimberly Rapert, built the boxes and then staged them at the Grass Lake Warrior Trails and Nature Park.  She reported, “We had a wonderful experience.  First, the boys got to work closely with their parents and learn simple construction.  Second, the boys learned about bluebirds, why they need special protection, and learned where to put such houses.  In addition to our Earth Day trail clean-up and tree planting event, the boys took an active role in positioning the houses, finding east with a compass (to face them), locating water, nesting materials, and close food for the houses, and worked on putting in the poles and predator defense baffles.  Each of the five houses has a boy's initials on it.”

    JAS stressed the importance of both proper placement and management of the houses. Too often these projects provide housing for invasive species, such as House Sparrow, and end up conflicting with the intent of promoting native species like Eastern Bluebird and Tree Swallow.  We are confident this will be a successful project.  Rapert said, “I feel confident the boys felt a genuine investment in caring for nature.”


  • Tuesday, May 15, 2018 7:44 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    The Tuesday Morning Group crossed the county line to visit the wildflower jewel of Washtenaw County this morning.:  The nature Conservancy's Nan Weston Preserve.     The weather cooperated and was cool and kept the mosquitos down.  Joann Balbach lead us on a walk through Trilliums in full bloom.  We also saw Spring Beauty, May Apple, Maiden Hair fern, Violets of various colors, Ragwort, Wild Strawberry, Gooseberry, Solomon Seal & False Solomon Seal, Dwarf Ginseng, Anemone, Phlox, Wild Geranium, and Ginger.

    She shared her knowledge of the various species as well as some folklore and ancient remedies used for some of the plants.

    On the bird front, the thrushes were quite active and Lynn Eckerle spotted a Barred Owl. 

  • Tuesday, April 03, 2018 7:41 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    The Tuesday Morning Group took a drive out to the Muskegon County Wastewater plant today to check out wildfowl on the west side.  Five of us drove along the dikes from the Administrative office past the aeration ponds and around the west pond.  

    The sky was overcast but fair light for viewing. The wind was driving at times and the rain and snow sometimes impeded views.  the west side of the pond was pretty choppy bu the east side drive was much calmer.

    There were lots of scaup and ring neck ducks.  We also saw a Bonaparte's gull and some horned grebes.  Full trip list is below.  Oh, and there were some ring-billed gulls...


    Number of Taxa: 36

    13 Canada Goose -- (1),(2)
    3 Blue-winged Teal -- (2)
    95 Northern Shoveler -- (2)
    55 Gadwall -- (2)
    30 Mallard -- (2)
    12 Redhead -- (2)
    60 Ring-necked Duck -- (2)
    120 Greater/Lesser Scaup -- (2)
    40 Bufflehead -- (2)
    1 Common Goldeneye -- (2)
    6 Common Merganser -- (2)
    3 Ruddy Duck -- (2)
    5 Wild Turkey -- (1)
    7 Horned Grebe -- (2)
    1 Great Blue Heron -- (1)
    2 Turkey Vulture -- (1)
    2 Red-tailed Hawk -- (1),(2)
    50 American Coot -- (2)
    2 Killdeer -- (2)
    1 Bonaparte's Gull -- (2)
    2000 Ring-billed Gull -- (1),(2)
    18 Herring Gull -- (2)
    1 Mourning Dove -- (2)
    1 Downy Woodpecker -- (2)
    7 American Crow -- (1),(2)
    1 Black-capped Chickadee -- (2)
    1 Tufted Titmouse -- (2)
    1 White-breasted Nuthatch -- (2)
    1 Eastern Bluebird -- (2)
    3 American Robin -- (2)
    40 European Starling -- (2)
    2 American Tree Sparrow -- (2)
    8 Dark-eyed Junco -- (2)
    2 Song Sparrow -- (2)
    20 Red-winged Blackbird -- (2)
    5 Common Grackle -- (2)


    Checklists included in this summary:
    (1): JAS Muskegon WWT Trip
    (2): Muskegon Wastewater System

  • Saturday, March 31, 2018 9:10 PM | Steve Jerant (Administrator)

    The rain held off most of the morning for the annual Jackson Audubon Society Early Waterfowl Tour.  JAS president Connie Spotts lead eleven members on a driving tour of Jackson area lakes in search of local and migrating waterfowl.

    We started at Watkins Lake State Park.  (And don’t you just love saying “state park” after Watkins Lake?)  While the numbers of birds were not huge, we were not disappointed.  The highlights were Common Loon, Belted Kingfisher, and Common Goldeneye.  But these were overshadowed, or overflown, by a flock of about 20 Tundra Swans to the west.

    From Watkins, we checked out Norvell Lake on Palmer and Austin Roads.  We added Gadwall and our first Tree Swallows for the morning.

    Next, we checked out the north part of Portage Lake in hopes of seeing the White-winged Scoter reported earlier, but did not see it.

    We had lunch at nearby Portage Lake Parlor, a newly opened restaurant on Seymour Rd. at Welch Lake Rd. 

    We finished the trip with two stops, in the rain, at Gilletts Lake.  We had a grebe but could not determine if it was Horned or Eared as it was in transitional plumage.

    The next JAS trip is the Tuesday Morning Group’s visit to the Muskegon Wastewater facility (http://jacksonaudubon.org/event-2829557)

    Total species/taxa recorded was 45, complete list is below.

    Number of Checklists: 5
    Number of Taxa: 45

    84 Canada Goose -- (1),(2),(3),(4)
    12 Mute Swan -- (1),(2)
    15 swan sp. -- (1)
    2 Wood Duck -- (3)
    4 Northern Shoveler -- (1),(2)
    3 Gadwall -- (2),(3)
    2 American Wigeon -- (3)
    6 Mallard -- (1),(2),(3)
    1 Redhead -- (4)
    180 Ring-necked Duck -- (1),(2),(3),(4)
    10 Lesser Scaup -- (3)
    10 Greater/Lesser Scaup -- (4)
    50 Bufflehead -- (1),(3),(4)
    1 Common Goldeneye -- (1)
    6 Hooded Merganser -- (1),(3)
    10 Common Merganser -- (1)
    2 Ruddy Duck -- (3)
    1 Common Loon -- (1)
    3 Pied-billed Grebe -- (1),(4)
    1 Horned/Eared Grebe -- (4)
    4 Great Blue Heron -- (1),(2),(3)
    1 Turkey Vulture -- (1)
    1 Bald Eagle -- (3)
    1 Red-tailed Hawk -- (1)
    10 American Coot -- (4)
    10 Sandhill Crane -- (2)
    3 Killdeer -- (1)
    1 Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) -- (5)
    2 Mourning Dove -- (1)
    1 Belted Kingfisher -- (1)
    1 Red-bellied Woodpecker -- (3)
    3 American Crow -- (1)
    2 Tree Swallow -- (2)
    1 Black-capped Chickadee -- (5)
    1 Tufted Titmouse -- (5)
    1 White-breasted Nuthatch -- (5)
    1 Eastern Bluebird -- (1)
    4 American Robin -- (1)
    1 American Tree Sparrow -- (5)
    1 Chipping Sparrow -- (5)
    1 Song Sparrow -- (5)
    1 Northern Cardinal -- (1)
    40 Red-winged Blackbird -- (1),(2)
    10 Common Grackle -- (1)
    1 House Sparrow -- (5)

    Checklists included in this summary:
    (1): Watkins Lake SP
    Date: Mar 31, 2018, 09:30
    (2): Norvell Lake (west)
    Date: Mar 31, 2018, 10:30
    (3): Cutler Rd. and Dunn Rd. wetland
    Date: Mar 31, 2018, 11:15
    (4): Gilletts Lake
    Date: Mar 31, 2018, 14:00
    (5): JAS Early Waterfowl Tour - driving
    Date: Mar 31, 2018, 09:00

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