There are many ways to contribute to the future of the American Ornithological Society through bequests and other planned gifts. Such gifts ensure that AOS has resources to support future generations of ornithologists and sustain our efforts to advance the scientific study and conservation of birds. This is a wonderful way to make a lasting impact on the ornithological community.

Planning Your Gift

Many factors should be considered when considering this type of gift, and individual circumstances will vary; as with all tax and estate planning, please consult your financial and estate advisors. We welcome your inquiries and are pleased to answer questions and offer suggestions confidentially, based on your personal circumstances. Whether you’re considering including AOS in your estate plans or have already done so, please get in touch!


banded red knots

“When I was a graduate student, there was no better experience in presenting my research than at a bird-focused conference. AOS carries the legacy and responsibility for supporting student research and presentations, and it only made sense for me to support this long-term goal with my own decisions.”

– Mark Hauber, Legacy Circle member


Types of Planned Gifts

Charitable Bequest

Naming the American Ornithological Society to receive all or a portion of your estate through your will or trust reduces estate taxes while creating a charitable legacy for ornithology.

Charitable Gift Annuity

With this option, you transfer cash or property to AOS, and you and/or someone you designate receives lifetime income from the amount you transfer. AOS keeps the remainder upon your passing, potentially reducing and deferring capital gains tax and reducing probate costs and estate taxes.

Charitable Trusts

A charitable lead trust or several types of charitable remainder trusts create valuable options in estate planning by providing tax savings, a significant gift and income for either a charity or family members, and a future gift to AOS.

Life Insurance Policies

Naming AOS as a beneficiary of your insurance policy enables you to create a charitable legacy without invading cash and other assets designated for your heirs.

Retirement Account Assets

Double taxation on retirement plan withdrawals decreases their value for your heirs. Consider providing other assets to heirs and naming AOS as the beneficiary of your retirement accounts. You can save taxes and preserve your hard-earned assets to directly benefit the ornithological community.


grouse

“Ornithology won’t flourish unless young people are encouraged to pursue avian studies. I had an incentive to give to AOS because of a granddaughter who won an award for best student paper but needed money to travel to give another presentation. What are grandmothers for?”

– Penny Ficken, Legacy Circle member


Legacy Circle

Our Legacy Circle recognizes donors who inform AOS about their plans to support the society through their will, estate, or remainder interest in a charitable trust, retirement plan, or insurance policy. The following individuals have joined this visionary group:

  • Carla Cicero
  • Penny Ficken
  • Mark E. Hauber
  • James Kushlan
  • James R. and Florence A. McGuire
  • Elizabeth Anne Schreiber

If you have included AOS in your estate plans, please let us know. We would like to recognize you as a member of the Legacy Circle, but should you prefer that your bequest or planned gift remain confidential, we will abide by your wishes.

    From the field

    I also use small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS, aka drones) in my work in conservation as well as in work for the electric industry unrelated to conservation. Drones can cause much less disturbance than traditional methods when checking the nests of raptors. Drones can also be used to install line markers to reduce avian collisions, to inspect nests for entanglement hazards, or to quantify wildlife. I even get to fly drones in high voltage environments where a person would be killed if they entered! It's been fun taking over the AOS Instagram account this week — if you have questions about my work, you can reach me at jdwyer@edmlink.com! #birds #ornithology #science #conservation #wildlife #drones #powerlines
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A big thank you to #AOSMember James Dwyer for his posts this week! If you're an AOS member and would like to be featured here, please send us a message.The Avian Collision Avoidance System (ACAS), which I posted about earlier this week, is just one way of addressing avian collisions with power lines. Other methods involve “line marking,” which uses attachments on wires to increase line visibility. Unfortunately, these methods are not as reliable as we would like. In the attached photos, a Green-winged Teal in Colorado, a sparrow in Colorado, a sparrow in Wyoming, a warbler in California, and a Ring-billed Gull in California illustrate the range of species and habitats where collisions occur. #ornithology #birds #science #wildlife #conservation #powerlines
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[Thank you to #AOSMember James Dwyer, who's taking over our account this week — keep following along!]Avian electrocutions can be prevented. Electrocutions can cause power outages, damage expensive equipment, start wildfires, and violate state and federal conservation laws. I tend to emphasize the first three concerns when working with utilities because unplanned outages, equipment replacement, and wildfire controls or restitution can be used in sound business cases for investing in avian electrocution mitigation regardless of the political climate. In the attached photos, an electrocuted Black-billed Magpie in Idaho (burned feet), Common Raven in California (burned beak), Bald Eagle in Colorado (burned neck and back), and Great Horned Owl in Arizona (burned wing) illustrate the range of species and habitats where electrocutions occur. All photos by me. #ornithology #birds #conservation #science #wildlife
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[Thank you to #AOSMember James Dwyer, who's taking over our account this week — keep following along!]I’ve had great opportunities to work in avian conservation internationally in Africa, Canada, the Dominican Republic, the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), Hungary, and Spain. In these photos, a Griffon Vulture in South Africa feeds in front of a power line (out of image frame) where numerous vultures have been electrocuted, a Ridgeway’s Hawk in the Dominican Republic jumps through the air gap around a power line to land on a conductor cover installed to prevent avian electrocutions, and an electrocuted Common Buzzard and Griffon Vulture can be seen on pylons. All photos by me. #ornithology #birds #science #conservation #wildlife #raptors #birdsofprey #powerlines
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[Thank you to #AOSMember James Dwyer, who's taking over our account this week — keep following along!]In addition to my research, I give back by contributing to the leadership of the Raptor Research Foundation. I am the current Chair of the Conservation Committee, the former (and founding) Chair of the Code of Conduct Committee, a former Chair (and current member) of the Scientific Committee, and a former Board Member. I’m also an Associate Editor for the Journal of Raptor Research (JRR), and right now I’m working on a special issue of JRR focused on raptors’ interactions with power lines. Here are some photos of my experiences handling and banding raptors, by Angela Dwyer, Melissa Landon, and myself. #ornithology #science #birds #conservation #wildlife #raptors #birdsofprey
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[Thank you to #AOSMember James Dwyer, who's taking over our account this week — keep following along!]In addition to having a peer-reviewed scientific article on the Avian Collision Avoidance System published in The Condor (see my last post!), I was lucky enough to publish an article about it in an electric industry trade magazine. Though not always emphasized in academia, encouraging communications with industry can have important conservation implications! #ornithology #birds #science #wildlife #conservation #scicomm #sandhillcrane #powerlines
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[Thank you to #AOSMember James Dwyer, who's taking over our account this week — keep following along!]I was part of the team that developed the Avian Collision Avoidance System (ACAS), described in a recent publication in The Condor. This system shines UV lights on power lines to make them more visible to Sandhill Cranes, and tests showed that it reduces crane collisions with power lines by 98%. The video clip included in this post shows what can happen when cranes encounter power lines WITHOUT a system like ACAS in place. Photos by me, video by Laura McHale. #ornithology #birds #science #sandhillcrane #wildlife #conservation #powerlines
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[Thank you to #AOSMember James Dwyer, who's taking over our account this week — keep following along!]
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