Annual Report 2010
What Were Our Successes in 2010?
Myriad challenges face the birds of Central Indiana, so the Amos W. Butler Audubon Society assumes many roles to promote the chapter’s mission. Hosting monthly educational presentations, conducting field trips, advocating on behalf of birds to decision-makers, and reaching out to inform and educate students and adults is part of what we do. The Society also works with partners to preserve habitat, both locally and in the tropics. In 2010, Wings Over Indy was launched with a TogetherGreen grant to provide additional habitat for Common Nighthawks and Chimney Swifts. Wings Over Indy joins our other major conservation and education initiatives, Lights Out Indy and the Birdathon. It’s really quite amazing how effective and efficient Amos W. Butler Audubon is for a primarily volunteerbased, grassroots organization. Our activities are made possible by our 2,000 members and we would not be successful without them. If you are not already a member, we hope you consider joining today. Your membership and additional donation will allow us to do great things right here in Central Indiana and beyond. Here’s a sampling of our work and what we accomplished in 2010 with the amazing support of our members:
Providing Habitat for Birds
Working with diverse partners such as the Center for Urban Ecology, Indy Parks, and Indianapolis Public Schools, we obtained a prestigious TogetherGreen grant from National Audubon and Toyota for our Wings Over Indy project. The initiative will create artificial habitat for Common Nighthawks and Chimney Swifts, both urban bird species that have adapted to man-made structures, but which are experiencing population declines due to changes in building practices. An important aspect of the project is educating schoolchildren, businesses, and homeowners about the plight of the two species so that individual action can be taken.
Reducing Bird Mortality
Our Lights Out Indy initiative, launched in 2009, has twin goals of reducing bird deaths and saving energy by promoting bird-safe buildings and reducing nighttime lighting. The United States Fish & Wildlife Service estimates that upwards of one billion birds are killed annually due to building strikes; excess urban lighting is a key factor contributing to the deaths. Here in Central Indiana we know that tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of birds are affected. Unfortunately, the species at greatest risk are warblers, thrushes, and native sparrows. In other words, birds that are already experiencing population declines due to habitat loss. During 2010, we engaged additional building managers to eliminate or reduce nighttime lighting, conducted monitoring and research to quantify the extent of the problem in downtown Indianapolis, worked with students from Butler University to further the initiative, and conducted presentations to inform and educate building managers and the public. More information is available at www.lightsoutindy.org.
On A Mission To Save The Birds Of Central Indiana
Our premier fundraiser, the AWBAS Birdathon, is one of the most successful events of its kind in the country, raising more than $27,800 in 2010. A dozen teams scoured the state to log as many species as possible. We continued the Cerulean Warbler corridor project with our partner, the American Bird Conservancy, to preserve prime habitat in Colombia for this species and many other Neotropical migrants. Birdathon donations over the past 20+ years have preserved nearly 2,000 acres in Central and South America. In the past year, the focus changed to procuring conservation easements thereby allowing land owners to continue earning a living while still protecting the habitat. Central Indiana Land Trust’s ambitious initiative to preserve core conservation areas providing viable habitat for forest interior birds such as the Wood Thrush was another beneficiary of Birdathon funds. Since its inception, the Birdathon has supported the Indiana Important Bird Areas (IBA) Program. Now that 41 IBAs have been identified, Audubon Indiana’s director of Bird Conservation is moving on to the next stage by developing conservation plans. The Birdathon provided funding for two habitat restoration projects in 2010. Marian University’s EcoLab involved 4,000 students, college students, and adults in real get-your-hands-dirty restoration and conservation work in 2010. Keep Indianapolis Beautiful’s Spades Park Bird Sanctuary project encouraged neighborhood involvement in the planting of native trees to restore bird habitat. The aforementioned Lights Out Indy program was another beneficiary of a Birdathon grant.
Providing Informative Programs
In 2010, AWBAS members and the public continued to enjoy monthly presentations at the Holliday Park Nature Center on a variety of informative and entertaining subjects given by regional experts. Topics included For the Birds of Indiana Rehabilitation Programs, Lights Out Indy, Indiana Bird Conservation Plan, Adventures of a Whooping Crane Fanatic, The Nature Conservancy’s Work in Indiana, Human-Wildlife Interactions in Protected Areas, and Central Indiana Land Trust’s Greening the Crossroads. Organizing Field Trips and Activities. Showcasing some of Central Indiana’s birding hotspots, we offered guided hikes to Eagle Creek Park, Southeastway Park, Ritchey Woods, Cool Creek Park, Strawtown-Koteewi Park and Fort Harrison State Park. Out of town field trips took us to such destinations as Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area, Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area, and to west-central Indiana to view eagles. Participants for the eagle trip were spellbound by the 25 Bald Eagles we encountered, including an up close encounter with a vocal bird at its nest. We also celebrated our second Big Sit, billed as birding’s most sedentary event, at the Eagle Creek Ornithology Center’s observation deck. The deck’s handicap-accessible ramp and adjacent parking allows everyone, of all ages and physical abilities, to participate.
Providing Opportunities to Learn
When people think of birds, they think of Audubon and when organizations, schools, and other civic groups are interested in educating their members about birds in Central Indiana, they call upon AWBAS. Our goal of providing engaging and inspiring bird-related programs to birdwatchers of all levels was certainly reached in 2010. The Education Committee, with the help of several AWBAS board members, committee members, and chapter volunteers, provided educational opportunities for more than 1,300 people. With the help of our membership, we look forward to serving the educational desires of our area and providing relevant program options for birdwatchers of all levels and experiences.
To view or download the Annual Update brochure for 2010, visit HERE
To read more about our success in 2009, download the 2009 annual report.
Events & Activities
Join Our Mailing List
Subscribe to our newsletter to find out the latest news and information from Amos Butler Audubon.
Support our chapter's educational programs, conservation projects, and research.
Lights Out Indy
To celebrate Amos Butler Audubon's 75th anniversary in 2013, we will be introducing you to 75 species of birds during the course of the year on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/amosbutler). Please share these accounts with family and friends and encourage[…]Read more...
Any birder worth their salt knows that birding is a continuous learning process. I've often said that it took me several years of birding before I realized I knew practically nothing about birds. Being impatient, I surely miss all sorts[…]Read more...
Snowy Owls cast a bewitching spell over most birders. Here in the Midwest, where the species can be considered rare, the news of a Snowy being sighted tends to draw flocks of birders to the location. And, that is the[…]Read more...
It's quite probable that "construction season" and Amos W. Butler Audubon have never been used in the same sentence. But, indeed, I am here to report that construction season has come to an end for Amos W. Butler Audubon. Construction,[…]Read more...
Several birders observed an immature Peregrine Falcon at Eagle Creek Park, Indianapolis, on October 1, 2011. By itself, the sighting was not very significant. Peregrines are regularly seen in migration cruising through the park, scattering other birds as they look[…]Read more...
You can help us save money, time, and even trees by receiving updates and news via email.