Connecting People 
With Nature

Bird of the Month

Common Nighthawk   - If you see thin white wing bars on a bird flying around in the warm early evening sky and it dips and dives, you are watching a ‘bug hawk.’ It is easy to spot as it flies, but very difficult to see when perched.  This time of the year, Nighthawks will group together for fall migration. 

To learn more about the Common Nighthawk and find birding trails.


Accessibility for Birding

by Cassandra Dean  

Wachiska Program — Thursday, October 14, 7:00 p.m., via Zoom web conference                                      (registration required)

Link to register:

Thursday, October 14, 2021 at  7:00 p.m.

This year is the 31st anniversary of Americans with Disability Act (ADA). America’s public lands are for everyone, regardless of ability; however, despite ADA efforts for the past 31 years, trails, beaches, fishing piers, and campgrounds are not inclusive. This is where Birdability comes in. The movement was founded by Virginia Rose in Austin, Texas. She took the lead in accessible bird outings at Travis Audubon Center in Austin and grew the organization to become a nonprofit this year. Learn more at


Birdability’s mission is to share the joys of birding with people who have disabilities and to ensure that birding is accessible for everybody. Birdability developed a network of captains in all 50 states and internationally to spread the message that public lands need to be more inclusive.


First, Birdability is about recognizing birding sites that have become accessible by putting them on the Birdability map to allow people with disabilities and other health concerns access to this information ahead of time, to help them decide if a location is one they would like to visit. Second, Birdability is about getting those sites that are not accessible to realize the potential benefits of becoming accessible. Birdability provides guidance documents to help determine what is accessible and what is not. Captains help strengthen the relationship between Birdability and organizations and nature centers and help them reach their goals to become more accessible. Finally, Birdability is about creating opportunities for people to keep doing what they love, to be around people where they will not be judged, as well as getting the word out for people to participate who may never have birded.


In November 2020, Cassandra became Nebraska’s Birdability captain, and she’s working to get public lands more accessible. She is currently the administrator of the Gage County Historical Society and Museum, a position she accepted to make the museum more accessible and inclusive. She worked for Nebraska Game and Parks Commission where she focused on community outreach and education. Cassandra became a Nebraska Master Naturalist to educate the public about the viability of providing access to public lands. She enjoys teaching children about frogs, butterflies, and birds. She loves to bird watch, hike, camp, participate in archery and citizen science projects. However, because of her disabilities and lack of accessibility, she sometimes misses opportunities that she would enjoy.


Join Wachiska for this talk via Zoom on Thursday, October 14, at 7:00 p.m. This program is available to those who register at Copy and paste this link into your browser or go to Wachiska’s website after October 1 and click on the link directly from the notice to register. You will then receive a confirmation with the meeting number and password. Keep that email and a few minutes before the program is to begin, click on that confirmation and you’ll be invited into the meeting. Invite friends to join us, too!

October Calendar of Events

Oct 4           Education Committee via Zoom, 6:00 p.m.

Oct 7           Fall Birdseed Sale orders due

                    (postmarked this date) 

Oct 9          Second Saturday Seeds, Dieken Prairie near

                   Unadilla,    9:00 a.m. (page 6)

Oct 10        Gayfeather Harvest, 12:00 noon - 4:00 p.m.

                   (page 5)

Oct 11        Conservation Committee via Zoom, 6:30 p.m.


Oct 14        General Meeting via Zoom, “BIRDABILITY” by

                   Cassandra Dean, 7:00 p.m.

                   (NOTE required registration)

Oct 15         Newsletter submission deadline, 5:00 p.m

Oct 15-16    Birdseed Sale Distribution, (page 3-4)

Oct 19         Board Meeting via Zoom, 7:00 p.m.

Oct 28         Legislation Committee via Zoom, 7:00 p.m.

In September 2021, the Wachiska Board adopted the National Audubon’s Statement on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion as the Chapter’s own goals: 

The birds Audubon pledges to protect differ in color, size, behavior, geographical preference, and countless other ways. By honoring and celebrating the equally remarkable diversity of the human species, Audubon will bring new creativity, effectiveness and leadership to our work throughout the hemisphere.

 NEW!  Wachiska is on YouTube 

Join Wachiska Today

Become a member of the Wachiska chapter of the National Audubon Society and support environmental conservation, education, and outreach in Southeast Nebraska.

Click HERE for details.

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The photos on this website were taken by Wachiska members. Many thanks to Bruce Wendorff, 

Linda Brown, Paul Johnsguard, Tim Knott, Stu Luttich, John Carlini and Elizabeth Nelson.