Golden Eagle $500 and above
American White Pelican $100 - $499
American Avocet $50 - $99
Mountain Bluebird $20 - $49
Ruby Crowned Kinglet $10 - $19
Lahontan Audubon Society kicked off our
Fall Fund Drive 2016 campaign on October 15.
All funds donated are used locally to support our mission of
education and conservation for birds.
All donations are tax-deductible.
You can donate to our Fall Fund Drive by completing the form with your donation amount.
Thank you in advance for your generosity,
LAS Officers and Board of Trustees.
Lahontan Audubon Society (LAS) was busy again this year improving the quality of life for Nevada’s birds and wildlife, as well as for people of all ages in our community who are interested in birds. Our dedicated volunteers, (80-plus strong this year, who gave more than 4600 hours of their time) focus enthusiastically on birding, education, and conservation. Below are highlights of what we accomplished last year for the birds (and bird lovers) to give you an idea of why we continue to seek your financial as well as moral support.
LAS continued our strong emphasis on education outreach to children. We visited 18 classrooms in 7 schools to reach about 650 elementary children (and one class of pre-schoolers). We brought wings, feathers, and taxidermy mounts to talk about What Makes a Bird a Bird, How Big is Your Wingspan, How do Birds Fly, and What Bird is That (our bird identification game). This year, LAS hosted 11 school field trips at Washoe Lake State Park for 460 school children. The kids studied aquatic organisms under microscopes and used LAS binoculars and bird guides to identify several species of wetland and riparian birds. LAS provided a travel grant of about $450 for a school that could not otherwise afford the school bus trip. LAS also donated Audubon plush toy birds along with identification tags and notes about the real bird to the Children’s Museum in Carson City.
LAS reached out to almost 500 kids of all ages at several special events. We participated in the Capitol City Farm Days event for children again this year and gave talks to over 300 children and 35 teachers about the role that raptors play in agricultural communities. In addition, LAS took part in three new events for young people. At KNPB’s Explore the Outdoors Event in April, over 2000 kids attended; it seemed like almost all of them stopped by the LAS display table full of bird taxidermy mounts and wings. We also shared in the Nevada State High School Leadership Council Community Fair, where our display helped encourage young adults to consider a major in natural history education. LAS contributed to the Nevada Outdoors Experience this June in Carson City, where over 225 youngsters visited our display.
LAS continued to generate public interest and promote adult education about birds and birding through our long-standing programs below:
17 LAS birding field trips attended by almost 250 participants. Our trips visited favorite urban birding areas in Reno and Carson City; three trips along the Truckee River viewed birds and bats, searched for American Dippers, and found a variety of birds in riparian woodlands east of Reno. We visited Spooner Lake, Sierra Valley, and the Silver Saddle Ranch in Carson City. The highlight trip of the year was to a Greater Sage-grouse strutting area, where 17 birders (and female grouse) watched 17 fine male grouse strut their stuff.
5 Bird Identification Classes and a field trip in our “Birds of the Truckee Meadows” series of classes were attended by over 100 people this year.
8 Birds and Books discussions featured books about the passenger pigeon, owls, winter and summer survival adaptations, and sharing our neighborhoods with wrens, robins, woodpeckers, and other wildlife.
8 General Meetings were attended by almost 400 people and featured Nevada’s mountain lions (86 people attended), Swainson’s Hawks, dancing grebes, ventriloquist owls, Nevada Department of Wildlife state-wide bird surveys, two great photography programs, and our always-popular Bird ID panel.
LAS gave four talks at the Galena Creek Visitor Center for adults and families. Our volunteers also presented bird-related programs at the Rotary Club, the Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation Speaker Series, at the Eagles and Agriculture opening reception, at local plant nurseries, and, at the Nevada State Museum, our volunteers talked to 20 docents about wetland birds and led a bird walk. In a new program this year, 11 LAS volunteers talked to senior residents at the Catholic Charities Metropolitan Gardens residence about birding a variety of topics. LAS also reached out to the community with display tables and taxidermy mounts at six public venues this year: Eagles and Agriculture in Carson Valley, Celebrate Washoe Valley at Washoe Lake State Park, International Migratory Bird Day at Lake Tahoe, Migratory Bird Day at Oxbow Park in Reno, and an Earth Day Celebration at the May Arboretum at Rancho San Rafael Park in Reno.
LAS’s collection of taxidermy mounts, skins, wings, feathers, and nests has continued to grow. We have 148 mounts housed at the Galena Creek Visitor Center and 17 housed at the Nature Conservancy’s Whit Hall Interpretive Center at the River Fork Ranch in Carson Valley. The mounts are used for almost all our education visit to schools, at the Washoe Lake field trips, for adult education workshops, and on the LAS display table for all special events. The collection has been funded by several grants, direct donation of mounts, and contributions from many members and individuals interested in bird-related education.
LAS sponsored a unique event this last year—a one-night screening at a local theater of The Messenger, a documentary film about worldwide songbird decline and man-made threats faced by migrating birds. The movie would not otherwise have been shown in Reno, but because of LAS’s efforts, over 110 people got the chance to see this moving film with beautiful cinematography and great conversations with knowledgeable experts.
We continue to work to improve the LAS website as one of our main tools to communicate with members and the public. This coming year, we plan to add a special section on LAS news and feature more articles in Bird Notes to help in part to replace the electronic newsletter which was suspended in September, 2015. We have also recently improved our LAS email notification system by subscribing to the Constant Contacts email service. Soon, we will install on our website a link to Constant Contact to invite the public to join our growing email notification list.
On the conservation front, LAS is providing education materials and signage for a turf removal and water conservation project at Valley Wood Neighborhood Park. Over the next year, we plan a busy schedule for conservation projects. LAS continues to be involved in planning for Virginia Lake. The City of Reno completed installation of a new pumping, circulation and filtration system for the lake, and the City is committed to retaining the island with its colony of nesting Double-Crested Cormorants (20-plus nests this summer) and Snowy Egrets (7 nests that fledged young this summer). LAS will be working this next year with the City to enhance habitat at the island and to develop interpretive signs for a walking bird tour along the lake path opposite the island.
LAS is about to start working on a project in the Winnemucca Valley to cap open fence posts that pose a danger to birds. We also plan to contribute funds to thinning of cattails at Swan Lake to provide more open wetland habitats near the board walk. LAS will be active in the Common Agenda this Nevada legislative session to advocate for legislation to improve the environment and bird habitat.
We consider Citizen Science to be vital to the study of bird populations and trends. Just after our LAS Chapter was founded in 1963, we established the Truckee Meadows Christmas Bird Count Circle, from which volunteers have collected more than 50 years of data about winter birds. We added Christmas Bird Counts in Carson City, Pyramid Lake, Fallon, and Minden. LAS members participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count each February to provide important information on wintering bird populations—a valuable snapshot in time during the same four days in February each year. LAS members also volunteered for weekly bird counts at Virginia Lake, and one member continues to survey Osprey nests in Reno for Osprey Watch. Last year, we extended Citizen Science involvement to children through the Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation’s Student Stewards Program for elementary schools with seasonal bird counts at parks, and we continued involvement with the program this year.
We’ve told you what LAS accomplished this year through the hard work of over 70 dedicated volunteers, who gave 4200 hours of their time, and with financial support provided by dues and donations and the generous response to our 2015 Fall Fund Drive from you, our wonderful members. LAS works hard to be a respected organization advancing birding, conservation, and education.
Please help us to continue to expand our education and conservation mission in the coming year. Your contribution, in whatever amount, will be most appreciated. Thank you in advance for your generosity,
LAS Officers and Board of Trustees.
President, Lahontan Audubon Society
You can donate to our Fall Fund Drive by completing the form in your donation amount.
All funds donated are used locally to support our mission of education and conservation for birds. All donations are tax-deductible.