Birdathon Weekend Field Trips

May 14-15

by Tim Knott

Wachiska’s most important fundraising months each year are April and May when Birdathon is in full swing. During this time members have an opportunity to contribute to the success of the chapter by making monetary donations and participating in birding field trips. Birdathon Weekend is May 14-15 this year. If you count birds in your backyard, go birding on your own, or participate in Wachiska’s organized birding field trips, make a list of the species you see and email ( or mail your tally to the Wachiska office by May 20. You should have received the Birdathon letter which includes a return envelope. Thank you in advance for making Birdathon 34 our biggest fundraiser ever!


Each year for several years two or more field trips have been held during Birdathon Weekend. Despite giving in to COVID-19 for hiking and gathering to enjoy each other’s finds for two years, field trips are back this year. We want to again see some of the spectacular species that migrate through Nebraska this time of year.


Three hikes are scheduled for May 14-15. There is no fee, and the public is welcome as long as you’re fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19. Trips will end by 11:30 a.m., but you can leave any time. Beginning birders are welcome on all trips.


On Saturday, Esa Jarvi will lead a trip at 9:00 a.m. to one of the best birding spots in Lincoln’s Wilderness Park, a great place to see rose-breasted grosbeaks, newly arrived warblers, bluebirds, indigo buntings, and others. Meet at the 14th Street parking lot entrance on the west side about 200 yards south of the railroad tracks or one-third mile north of Rokeby Road.


On Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. Todd Paddock will lead a trip to Wagon Train Lake to look for ducks, geese, shorebirds, and grassland birds (see field trip article on page 4). A park permit is required at this state rec area.


Also, on Sunday morning, Linda Brown and I will lead a trip to Platte River State Park which is a wonderful location for spotting warblers, vireos, and often tanagers on their way north. A park permit is required. Meet at the observation tower near the restaurant at 9:00 a.m. Platte River State Park is about an hour from Lincoln. From I-80, turn south at Exit 426 (Mahoney State Park exit) and follow Road N-66 past South Bend to the park entrance. Go ½ mile and turn right at the kiosk; proceed to the observation tower mentioned above.


Effects of Ultraviolet Light on Power Lines

to Prevent Crane Collisions on the Platte River

with Amanda Hegg, Conservation Program Associate,

Audubon’s Rowe Sanctuary

Wachiska Program — Thursday, May 12, 7:00 p.m., via Zoom web conference (registration required)

Link to register:

Thursday May 12, 2022 at  7:00 p.m.

May’s general meeting program will spotlight a new type of technology implemented to deter cranes from colliding with power lines at Audubon’s Rowe Sanctuary on the Platte River near Gibbon, Nebraska.


Amanda Hegg, Rowe Sanctuary’s conservation program associate, will discuss how this technology, and use of ultraviolet light, could help to mitigate the long-standing conservation issue of bird collisions with human-made structures like power lines. She will also present findings from a recent study designed to test the effectiveness of this technology at preventing crane collisions at Rowe Sanctuary. Amanda assists with the science and conservation programs and also coordinates Bird Friendly Communities in Central Nebraska. She is a former Marian Langan Young Conservation Leader who joined the permanent staff after successfully completing the internship.


The Marian Langan Young Conservation Leader is a one-year position designed to enhance the skills of a young person in conservation and education. The position was created and funded as a memorial for Marian Langan, past Audubon Nebraska state director.


Amanda grew up in South Dakota and is a graduate of the University of South Dakota where she studied conservation biology and sustainability. She spent three years studying the impacts of invasive plants on nesting success of birds in Missouri River riparian forests. She also worked for the National Park Service and South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks. In addition, she is a dedicated volunteer with Nebraska’s Raptor Conservation Alliance.


This program was organized by the Audubon Society of Omaha, and Wachiska is again partnering with the Omaha chapter to bring this presentation to members in both areas. Join ASO and Wachiska for the next monthly Zoom program on Thursday, May 12, at 7:00 p.m. This free, public presentation is available to those who register in advance at


Copy and paste this link into your browser or go to Wachiska’s website after May 1 and click on the link directly from the notice to register. You will then receive a confirmation email with the meeting number and password. Keep that and a few minutes before the program is to begin, click on that confirmation and you’ll be invited into the meeting. Encourage friends and colleagues to join us, too.



November Annual Meeting


Slide Show