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 hope you enjoyed this week’s posts! It has been fun working with the many great people who’ve helped make this project happen, and it’s exciting to consider all the research and conservation possibilities that lie ahead. I’ve been focusing on Spotted and Barred Owl ecology, but next year I’m joining @cornellbirds to tackle the challenge of identifying the vocalizations of potentially hundreds of other species that are in the raw audio! Can anyone identify any species in that spectrogram? Photos by Kevin Wood, @whatbirdisthis, & me. #birds #wildlife #science #outdoors #ornithology #birdsong #birdcalls
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[Thanks, @cmmwood! If YOU are an AOS member and would like to be featured here for a week, please get in touch.]Barred Owls are more territorial than Spotted Owls, and having tagged both I can confirm that this aggression carries over to their behavior when handled. I was fortunate to occasionally work with Dennis Rock, who has a wealth of owl capturing experience. When a Barred Owl chomped down on his finger, he told me to just leave it because it would then be easier for me to finish tagging the bird! However, the next season when I took a full fist of talons to my palm, I definitely fixed the problem right away. Later that night we created gloves that provided some protection without impairing dexterity. Photos by @nkryshak. #ornithology #birds #owls #wildlife #science #conservation
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[Our thank to AOS member Connor Wood (@cmmwood), who's taking over this account for the week!]Two years of acoustic surveys showed that the Barred Owl population had increased by a factor of 2.6, which was very concerning. We deployed GPS tags on ten individuals to test the possibility that the population estimates were inflated by a few highly mobile (and very vocal) individuals. All the birds we tagged displayed very stable territories, suggesting that the population had indeed grown between years. This represents a major challenge for Spotted Owl conservation in the Sierra Nevada. For more about this research, check out the press release, linked in AOS's profile! Photo courtesy of @u.s.forestservice. #ornithology #birds #owls #wildlife #science #conservation
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[Our thank to AOS member Connor Wood (@cmmwood), who's taking over this account for the week!]We deployed passive recording units designed and built by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (@cornellbirds). Once the raw audio data was back at base, we compressed the files and copied them onto two sets of hard drives — better safe than sorry! This is a boring part of the job, but when you’re collecting 30 TB of data each year, careful management is really important. We then scanned the data for the vocalizations of Spotted and Barred Owls, and those results allowed us to develop multi-season occupancy models for both species. Picture three is a spectrogram, or visual representation of sound, of a Spotted Owl “four-note” call. Photos by me. #ornithology #birds #wildlife #science #owls
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[Our thank to AOS member Connor Wood (@cmmwood), who's taking over this account for the week!]To assess the status of the Sierra Nevada Barred Owl population, we conducted passive acoustic surveys across over 6,000 square kilometers of mountainous terrain in the Lassen and Plumas National Forests. This meant some great campsite views and, for better or worse, accessing some sites with fatbikes! Photos by me. #ornithology #wildlife #science #ecology #owls #california
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[Our thanks to AOS member Connor Wood (@cmmwood), who's taking over this account for the week!]Over the last century, Barred Owls (first picture) have expanded from their historic range in eastern North America and are now found throughout the Pacific Northwest and northern California. Long-term studies have shown that they outcompete their smaller cousin, the Spotted Owl (second picture). Barred Owls have been documented sporadically in the northern Sierra Nevada since the late 1980s, but until my teams conducted our acoustic surveys, there was no concrete data on their density and distribution in the region. Photos by @dannyhofstadter and myself. #ornithology #birds #wildlife #owls #science #conservation #ecology
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[Our thanks to AOS member Connor Wood (@cmmwood), who's taking over this account for the week!]Hi everyone, I’m Connor Wood (@cmmwood), a PhD student at @uwmadison and AOS member, and I’ll be taking over AOS’s account this week! I use bioacoustics to study Spotted Owls and Barred Owls in California’s Sierra Nevada. Recent advances in bioacoustic hardware and software have opened up exciting new research possibilities in the last few years. I’ll be sharing some photos from my dissertation research, which was the first landscape-scale multi-species owl surveys in the U.S. One paper emerging from that project will be published by AOS’s The Condor this week. Photo by @the.jade.heron. #ornithology #wildlife #birds #owls #science #scientist #stem
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