What are our recent successes?
Myriad challenges face the birds of Central Indiana, so the Amos W. Butler Audubon Society takes on many roles to promote the chapter’s mission. Hosting monthly educational presentations, preserving local habitats, organizing field trips across the state, and saving tropical rainforest is all part of what we do. Our 1,900+ members enjoy a great diversity of enriching activities and rewarding programs.
Here's a sampling of our work and what we accomplished in 2008 with the support of our members:
Birding to Save Bird Habitat.
Our premier fundraiser, the AWBAS Birdathon, is one of the most successful events of its kind in the country, raising more than $28,000 in 2008. The nine teams that participated scoured the state during a 24-hour period to log as many species as they could find. We launched an exciting new project with our partner, the American Bird Conservancy, to preserve prime habitat for the Cerulean Warbler in Colombia. Through ABC's collaboration with a local conservation group, ProAves, 269 acres were purchased in 2008. Over the 20+ years we have been conducting the Birdathon, an estimated 1,654 acres of habitat have been preserved in Central and South America.
Educating to Save Birds.
Birdathon grants supported an Operation Migration initiative to distribute 20,000 copies of a booklet with a conservation message to school children nationwide. Operation Migration runs the program to reintroduce a population of Whooping Cranes to the eastern United States. These birds now migrate through Indiana.
In 2009 Eagle Creek Park in northwest Marion County will be opening a one-of-a-kind facility for Central Indiana, the Eagle Creek Park Ornithology Center. Taxidermy of bird specimens for the educational displays has been made possible by Birdathon funds.
Supporting the Indiana Important Bird Areas Program (IBA).
Since the IBA program's inception in Indiana in 2005, AWBAS Birdathon funds have been one of its primary sources of support. It is a grassroots effort that builds and fortifies partnerships among concerned citizens, non-profits and government in the interest of protecting bird populations.
Organizing Field Trips and Workshops.
Central Indiana birders were able to enjoy some of the best locales in the state. In 2008, the chapter led trips to Kankakee Sands, Strawtown-Koteewi Park, and the Kingsbury Fish and Wildlife Area. Two field trips ventured out of state to the Smoky Mountains and the upper Lower Peninsula of Michigan for Kirtland's Warblers. Workshops on raptor identification and migration along the Lake Michigan corridor, with corresponding field trips, were very popular.
Providing Enriching Programs.
AWBAS continues to offer educational and entertaining presentations each month at the Holliday Park Nature Center. Subjects enjoyed by the member and the public in 2008 included the reclusive Northern Saw-whet Owl, the importance of Indiana's reclaimed strip mines for grassland birds, the use of isolated woodlots by migratory birds, hummingbirds in Indiana, birding the seven continents, the art of nature at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and the new Eagle Creek Park Ornithology Center.
Providing Opportunities to Learn.
The Education Committee's goal in 2008 was to provide ongoing education for the members of AWBAS as well as to potential new members. The committee provided speakers for various organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America, Kiwanis groups, and other local associations. The programs presented featured members of the organization who were willing to share their enjoyment and passion for learning about birds with AWBAS members and the general public. Our programs were developed for all levels of birdwatching enthusiasts, with particular focus on new birdwatchers.
Our most popular programs included Warblers for Beginners, our Tike Hike series, and presentations about seasonal occurrences, such as nesting. The committee also developed and presented our first in a series of programs geared toward educating the community about ways to improve the health of their homes, yards, communities, and the earth.
To read more about our success in 2009, download our annual report.
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Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and stewardship of the birds of Central Indiana. We need your donation more than ever. We are especially enthusiastic about the projects to be funded by Birdathon 2016, all of which relate to our chapter’s mission.
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