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Connecting People 
With Nature

"Birding While Indian....

       in Nebraska"

by Thomas C Gannon

Wachiska Program and General Meeting — Thursday, April 11, 7:00 p.m.,

Unitarian Church, 6300 A Street, and also via YouTube link:

Thomas Gannon’s Birding While Indian spans more than 50 years of childhood walks and adult road trips to deliver, via a compendium of birds recorded and revered, the author’s life as a part-Lakota inhabitant of the Great Plains. Great horned owl, sandhill crane, dickcissel—such species form a kind of rosary, a corrective to the rosaries that evoke Gannon’s traumatic time in an Indian boarding school in South Dakota, his mother’s tears when coworkers called her “squaw,” and the violent erasure colonialism demanded of the Indigenous humans, animals, and land of the United States.


Birding has always been Gannon’s escape and solace. He later found similar solace in literature, particularly by Native authors. He draws on both throughout this expansive, hilarious, and humane memoir. An acerbic observer—of birds, of the aftershocks of history, and of human nature—Gannon navigates his obsession with the ostensibly objective avocation of birding and his own mixed-blood subjectivity, searching for that elusive snowy owl and his own identity. The result is a rich reflection not only on one man’s life but on the transformative power of building a deeper relationship with the natural world.


Tom Gannon is an associate professor of English and of Indigenous Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His publications include Skylark Meets Meadowlark: Reimagining the Bird in British Romantic and Contemporary Native American Literature (UNP, 2009) and various articles on the intersection of birds and human discourse (which he has dubbed ornithicriticism). His latest book, Birding While Indian: A Mixed-Blood Memoir (OSUP, 2023), is part birding memoir, part cultural critique of the ongoing Christo-Custer colonialism of the Great Plains. Tom is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.


Join Wachiska on Thursday, April 11, at 7:00 p.m. at the Unitarian Church, 6300 A Street, in Lincoln. This free, public,

in-person talk will also be live-streamed on YouTube at


Copy this link into your browser before the program begins. No registration is needed. Invite family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues to join us in-person or online. This program can also be viewed at a later time. Check Wachiska’s website for links to past programs.


“Sing out, my soul, thy songs of joy such as a happy bird will sing beneath a rainbow’s lovely arch in early spring.”

                                                                         -- William Henry Davies

April 2024 Calendar of Events

April 8       Conservation Committee, via Zoom  6:30 p.m.


April 11      General Meeting, “Birding While Indian” by Tom

                  Gannon, 7:00 p.m. in-person at Unitarian Church

                   and also live-streamed; no registration (link above)

April 13       Return of the Thunderbirds, Indian Center,

                   10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.


April 15       Newsletter Deadline, Wachiska Office, 5:00 p.m.


April 16       Board Meeting, via Zoom, 7:00 p.m.


April 20       Earth Day, Innovation Campus, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.  


April 27       Field Trip to Pioneers Park, 8:00 a.m. 

Give Nebraska is preparing to kick off                                           this year's 


Wachiska Audubon Society will be participating and we are fortunate to be one of the 70+ members who benefit from the 100+ public and private workplaces that allow employees to contribute to their favorite non-profits through payroll deductions.


Click here to donate to Birdathon



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.

2024 Birdathon

by Tim Knott


April is the beginning of the Birdathon fundraising drive. This year marks the 36th consecutive year of Wachiska’s Birdathon. Wachiska Audubon has depended on the annual Birdathon as the most important fundraising event of the year. Now, combined with the Give to Lincoln Day event on May 30, it makes all the things we do as an organization possible. The donations during this time make our education and outreach events such as “Tour the Wild Side,” Prairie Discovery Days, Nature Nights, Bird EnCOUNTer for kids, and many other educational activities happen. It enables us to continue regular monthly meetings with programs as well as our work with the state legislature. Perhaps just as important is that this support provides for the long-term sustainability of our chapter.


You should receive your Birdathon fundraising letter in early April. Please contribute as much as you can with a mail-in donation using the envelope provided. If you prefer giving online, donate via our website or participate in Give to Lincoln Day on May 30. Thank you to all our members and Friends for your continued support.

 NEW!  Wachiska is on YouTube 

On August 16, 2022, the Board approved revised bylaws that will be presented to the membership during the annual meeting in November. Both the 2013 and 2022 versions may be viewed or downloaded. 

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.

Read recent newsletters

Download the newsletter HERE

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. 

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