It's important to note that the crane count indicates the number of cranes spending the night at the sanctuary. Many more are often observed flying over. 

Crane Count: 41, 
with 115 observed flying
in the area.
Species count:  19

December 7, 2020

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                                                 photo by Steve Jerant

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 and

JAS Blog page at





An interesting article about Sandhill Cranes

published in the Washtenaw Voice, the student newspaper for Washtenaw Community College with photos from our own Tom Hodgson. Click Here


Crane Count Archive