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

Plenty of studies, especially in “birdy” places like shade-grown coffee farms, have shown that birds can provide an economically valuable service to farmers by eating pest insects. But what about in the huge swathes of farmland that cover much of the U.S.? To find out, the researchers behind a recent study in The Condor set up mesh “exclosures” over corn and soybean plants to see how keeping out birds but not insects would affect crops' success. They found that birds had a positive effect on corn crop yield, but a negative effect on soybean crop yield in the adjacent field. For the many farmers that use a corn-corn-soybean rotation schedule, this may suggest economic gain in the long run. Learn more at the blog post linked in our profile! Photos by Daryl Coldren and Megan Garfinkel. #ornithology #birds #wildlife #ecology #conservation #science #agriculture #midwestThe sunbirds are a group of nectar-eating songbirds from Africa and Asia that are a sort of Old World counterpart of hummingbirds. A recent paper in The Condor offered a new reason to prioritize sunbird conservation beyond just At Michigan State I teach two courses, Ecology and Tropical Biology. Each fall during the Tropical Biology course we have a “Tropical Thanksgiving.” Each group of students is assigned a plant family with a distribution primarily in the tropics, and students need to uncover a species in the plant family that humans eat. Then they bring in a dish prepared with that species, like pineapple upside down cake, brownies, or banana cream pie. Our Tropical Thanksgivings tend to be heavy on desserts! #ecology #tropicalecology #tropicalbiology #ethnobotany #botany #plantbiology #thanksgiving
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[Thanks, Catherine! If YOU are an AOS member and would like to be featured here for a week, please get in touch.]We have worked in Panama and Costa Rica in areas undergoing forest restoration. Birds play vital roles in restoration systems by consuming insects that can damage young trees. They also disperse seeds of plants and provide pollination services. Tropical birds are also just cool! Photo credits include Sean Williams. #ornithology #wildlife #science #birds #ecology #conservation #restoration #neotropicalbirds
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[Our thanks to Catherine Lindell, Editor-in-Chief of AOS journal The Condor: Ornithological Applications, who's taking over this account for the week!]We have investigated a number of tactics to deter pest birds in orchards. Inflatable tube-men appear effective in some contexts, if farmers move them around and use enough of them. We have had mixed results with drones; some models and some flight trajectories are likely to be more effective than others in deterring crop-eating birds. Photo credits include Shayna Wiefrich and Ben Hawes. #ornithology #birds #wildlife #science #agriculture #orchards #womeninstem
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[Our thanks to Catherine Lindell, Editor-in-Chief of AOS journal The Condor: Ornithological Applications, who's taking over this account for the week!]We recently investigated the roles American Kestrels can play in pest management in fruit-production systems. Working with famers in Michigan, we built and installed kestrel nest boxes in sweet cherry orchards. While kestrels nest in the boxes, they provision their young with arthropods, mammals, and birds that consume the cherries. Kestrels also reduce fruit-eating bird activity in the orchards with their presence. Photo credits include Amanda LaFay and Craig Sklarczyk. #ornithology #birds #wildlife #science #raptors #kestrels #orchards #ecology #womeninstem
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[Our thanks to Catherine Lindell, Editor-in-Chief of AOS journal The Condor: Ornithological Applications, who's taking over this account for the week!]Hi, I’m Catherine Lindell, #AOSMember and Editor-in-Chief of AOS journal The Condor: Ornithological Applications! I'll be taking over the AOS Instagram account this week. I’m an associate professor at Michigan State University in the Integrative Biology Department and the Center for Global Change and Earth Observations. My students and I investigate the roles birds play in managed ecosystems like agroecosystems and areas undergoing restoration. Photos by Sean Williams and Steve Roels. #ornithology #science #ecology #birds #restoration #biology #womeninstem
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