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ASO News

Eastern Kingbird by Mike Benkis

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Virtual Events
While bird-watching and bird-feeding are fabulous, socially-distant pandemic activities, in-person Audubon meetings are not! After several cancelled member meetings, we were able to arrange our first two virtual gatherings.

Depending on when you visit a prairie, you’ll see one of two seasonal sentinels that bookend the year — Pasqueflowers in the spring or Downy Gentians in the fall. Although they’re not related, Pasqueflowers and Downy Gentians share a few characteristics.

In the current era of our faltering pandemic-ravaged economy, one industry is thriving.  Backyard bird feeding and watching is booming.  During the second quarter of 2020 the national economy shrank an all-time record 9.5%.  The backyard bird feeding sector expanded by a reported 50-80%.

Prospects for sighting a wide variety of bird species this time of year are as unpredictable as the weather. Early cold spells could freeze over bodies of water and offer no refuge for waterfowl (especially for such northern migrants as Buffleheads, Mergansers, Long-tailed Ducks, Goldeneyes, Ring-necked Ducks, three species of Scoters, and both Lesser and Greater Scaup, to name a few).

It’s official: ASO member meetings will be held online for the foreseeable future. It might take some adjustment, but the learning curve will be worth it. Moving online, at least for the time being, allows us to reach a broader audience and to record our meetings. Meeting virtually allows viewers to tune in from anywhere, and, if watching a recorded meeting, at any time.

The bird seed sale was a huge success! In large part because of the coronavirus, bird seed orders will be picked up at the NEW Audubon Society of Omaha office and warehouse at 4339 S. 90th St. Subscribe to our newsletter or check back on the website for information regarding our Winter Seed Sale!

While many sources report seeing more birds this year than ever, birding in large groups is problematic. Because of this, Audubon Society of Omaha has been following guidance from the National Audubon Society restricting birding to small groups. This limits our ability to get together for field birding trips. While gathering to bird as a large group remains restricted, birding in small groups with masks is something we should all do on a regular basis during this trying time.

Many birders and non-birders alike are familiar with the annual spring migration that occurs as colorful neotropical migrants make their way from South and Central America to their breeding grounds in the Canadian Boreal Forest. Less commonly appreciated is the southward fall migration of adult and, often, first-year babies.

The Audubon Society of Omaha has a new headquarters, and is searching for a part-time administrator who can provide support for our programming.

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