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Connecting People 
With Nature

Nebraska's Pollinator

Community Science 

by Cody Dreier, Pollinator Ecologist

     Nebraska Game and Parks Commission 

Wachiska Program and General Meeting — Thursday, May 9, 7:00 p.m.,

Unitarian Church, 6300 A Street,

and also via YouTube link:


Many insect populations have taken a turn for the worse over the last century. Some of the best tools to monitor these populations are community-based science projects. This talk will focus on pollinator community science opportunities in Nebraska.


The first project is Nebraska’s Big Butterfly Count, the brainchild of Joanne Langabee, a master naturalist from Omaha. It involves walking self-selected trails, identifying and counting each butterfly seen. This year the survey training will focus on common eastern and central Nebraska butterfly species and will be held May 4 from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. at the Whitney Education Center at Aurora. This is before my talk, so be sure to get signed up ahead of time.


My primary duty is to run the Nebraska Game and Parks’ Monarch and Regal Fritillary Survey. This community science project involves walking assigned 200-meter-long transects looking for monarchs and regal fritillaries. A quick habitat, vegetation, and management assessment is done on the return trip. There are two training sessions for this survey. The first is at Homestead National Historic Park near Beatrice, 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. on May 18; the second is at Schramm Education Center near Gretna, 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. on June 1. If you are unable to make an in-person training date, there is a recorded training on YouTube.


The last project I want to highlight is the Nebraska Bumble Bee Atlas, a community science project focused on tracking native bumble bees. Volunteers catch bumble bees and put them on ice to immobilize them. Once asleep, the bees can be safely handled, identified, and photographed. Bees are not harmed during surveys. After the data is collected, the bees wake up and fly away. For more information on how to get involved, check out the Atlas website.


My presentation to Wachiska Audubon will be a deeper dive into how to get involved with pollinator community science in Nebraska. If you are unable to attend the May meeting, contact me to find the community pollinator science project that is right for you. Email me at


Cody Dreier grew up in Humboldt, Nebraska. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Kearney before earning his master’s from UNL. He is now the pollinator ecologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Cody enjoys spending his free time with his wife and three children and playing board games with his friends.


Join Wachiska on Thursday, May 9, at Lincoln’s Unitarian Church, 6300 A Street, to learn more about these projects and many more in which you can participate. This free, public,

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

No registration is needed.

The program can also be viewed at a later time. Check Wachiska’s website for links to past programs.

May 2024 Calendar of Events

May 3 - 5   Nebraska Birding Bowl

May 6         Education Committee via Zoom, 6:00 p.m.      


May 9         General Meeting, “Nebraska's Pollinator Community

                   Science” by Cody Dreier, 7:00 p.m. in-person at

                   Unitarian Church nd also live-streamed;

                   no registration (link above)

May 11        CANCELLED Field Trip to Fontenelle Forest

May 11        Birdathon Field Trip to Wilderness Park, 8:00 a.m.

May 12        Birdathon Field Trip to Platte River State park,

                   8:00 a.m.  

May 13       Conservation Committee, via Zoom  6:30 p.m.        

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


May 21       Board Meeting, via Zoom, 7:00 p.m.


May 30       Give to Lincoln Day   


June 22     "Tour the Wild Side" 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. 

Give Linc.png

Give Lincoln Day in coming on May 30 

If your choice is to participate in Give to Lincoln Day on May 30, they specialize in online giving through their website. You can also send your check to the Wachiska office postmarked by May 25 and make it payable to Lincoln Community Foundation with “Wachiska Audubon” on the memo line. We will deliver the checks to the Foundation. All contributions will be proportionately matched by Foundation funds. You can also work directly with the Lincoln Community Foundation for qualified IRA and investment fund contributions to the event.  

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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