OAS Zoom Meetings

Madagascar: A Place Like No Other

Presented by Ken Harris and Joelle Finley

Tuesday, January 19, 7:00 PM, Central Time

The fourth largest island on Earth hosts 6 endemic families of birds with over 110 endemic bird species. Ninety percent of its forest species and all of its native land mammals are unique, among them the many species of lemurs, a primate group now largely confined to Madagascar. Two-thirds of all chameleons occur on Madagascar along with 7 species of Baobab trees (Africa has only 1 species). 80% of the forest is gone from Madagascar due to a huge over-population problem and is sadly being replaced by Eucalyptus. It is one of the poorest nations in the world with no free education for children. Madagascar was once a colony of France who left behind their language and wonderful French Bread!

Free. Participants must register in advance. To register, send an email request to: with “Madagascar” as the subject line and include your full name in the body of the email message. If participating by phone, also include your phone number. Please register as soon as possible and at least one hour prior to the start of the meeting.



Bird Louisiana!

Presenter: Joan Garvey

Louisiana currently boasts a count upwards of 470 species of birds. Of that number about 25% comprise rare migratory birds from the far north, west and tropical Americas. It is a state full of refuges, pinewoods, barrier islands and wetlands, all in the path of breeding, migratory and wintering birds. With our mild climate it is possible to bird here year-round. In our current situation of dealing with a pandemic, birding locally can still be very fulfilling. Travel may also be limited due to other factors, family obligations, work constraints or monetary limits. Most of the birds depicted in this presentation were seen on day trips. Joan will also show us how to enjoy Louisiana’s birds without even leaving home.

Click HERE to watch Bird Louisiana!


Carolina Dormon, Louisiana Pioneer Woman

Presenter: Linda Auld

Linda Auld “BugLady”

Join Linda Auld in celebrating the life of Caroline Dormon, an intriguing and powerful woman born in the little town of Acadia back in 1888. She is famous for being an artist, teacher, conservationist, and the first woman spokesperson in the U.S. Forestry Service. Learn about her fascinating life, her phenomenal accomplishments, her beautiful Briarwood Nature Retreat, and her fantastic, inspiring books.

Click HERE to watch Caroline Dormon, Louisiana Pioneer Woman


Beginning Birding – Part I – Backyard Birds and More

Black-crowned Night Heron

Instructor: Joelle Finley

We’ll take a quick trip through the seasons looking at the common birds found in our New Orleans area, listening to their calls and discussing some of their migratory patterns. We’ll learn who is here, when they are here and a little something about enhancing our yards to attract them.

Joelle Finley is the Orleans Audubon Society Vice-president, Program Chair and Field Trip Coordinator. She has been birding since the 1970s and spends as much time birding outside the U.S. as possible, which has been zero for the past 6 months.

Click HERE to watch Beginning Birding: Part I – Backyard Birds and More


Bay-breasted Warbler by Joan Garvey

Beginning Birding – Part II – Confusing Fall Warblers

Instructor: Wendy Rihner
Tuesday, Sept. 22, 7:00 PM, Central Time

Ask even the best of birders, and they will admit that warblers in the fall can be a real test of their identification skills. While many birders prefer spring migration because many warblers are decked out in their colorful breeding plumage, identifying those once-brightly colored warblers in the fall presents a real challenge for beginning birders.

Wendy Rihner, Education Chair of the Orleans Audubon Society, hosts a webinar for new birders on how to identify those confusing fall warblers. The webinar covers field identification techniques, plumage differences between spring and fall, and even some behavioral differences in these wonderful and beautiful species.

Click HERE to watch Beginning Birding: Part II – Confusing Fall Warblers


The Monarch’s Egg and Everyday Wonders of Louisiana’s Butterflies

Presenter: Dr. Donata Henry

Summary:  This presentation showcases the unique wildlife photography of Walter Clifton, an avid outdoorsman dedicated to documenting the natural history of birds and butterflies of Louisiana. He hand reared and photographed over a dozen different species of butterflies, allowing us to marvel at and appreciate life stages we rarely, if ever, get to see. Notably, he did not use a digital camera. He and Dr. Donata Henry, a Senior Professor of Practice in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Tulane University, explored the Honey Island Swamp together nest searching and waiting in hot, buggy blinds for warblers to reveal their secrets. Join us for a glimpse into the weird and wonderful biodiversity in your own backyard.”

Click HERE to watch The Monarch’s Egg and Other Everyday Wonders of Louisiana’s Butterflies


Raptor Identification

Presenters: Jennifer and Tom Coulson

Summary: Raptor biologists Jennifer and Tom Coulson share their basic approach to raptor identification, a strategy which differs from that of most field guides. They will provide a number of novel tips for identifying our native diurnal birds of prey. The Coulsons are true “raptorophiles” who have spent much of their lives studying and working with birds of prey.

Click HERE to watch the Raptor Identification Workshop


Native Plants for Birds

Presenter: Wendy Rihner

Summary: Rihner discusses the great potential for gardeners in the Greater New Orleans area to build bird-friendly communities. She will highlight WHAT native plants are, WHERE native plants can be purchased locally, WHY native plants are more important for birds and pollinators than tropicals/exotics, HOW we can help create bird-friendly communities one yard at a time. Wendy Rihner, recently retired from teaching English at Delgado Community College, now has even more time to learn about the relationship native plants play in the lives of birds. Rihner serves on the Board of Directors for the Native Plant Initiative of Greater New Orleans, as well as the executive boards of both the Orleans Audubon Society and Audubon Louisiana.

Click HERE to watch Native Plants for Birds