524 Rosemont Garden
LEXINGTON KY 40503-1742
Contact Information
Address 524 Rosemont Garden
LEXINGTON , KY 40503 1742
Phone (859) 229-9421
Contact Name Tony Brusate
Web and Social Media
Roxy, an American Kestral, visits the CKAS table at Science Fair
At A Glance
IRS Ruling Year 1968
Former Names
Buckley Hills Audubon Society
Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer
Donations can also be made by mailing checks payable to:

Central Kentucky Audubon Society
c/o  524 Rosemont Garden
Lexington KY 40503
Keep informed of cool central Kentucky bird stuff and volunteer opportunities by signing up for our free monthly e-mail newsletter, by checking our web page calendar, or by friending us on Facebook.
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses - All Years
Expense Breakdown - Recent Year
Mission Statement
CKAS fosters environmental conservation by promoting the enjoyment, understanding, importance, and preservation of birds and their habitats. As a chapter of the National Audubon Society, we are committed to improving and protecting habitat for birds and other wildlife and to involving Kentuckians of all ages in discovering the beauty of the natural world.
Background Statement
In 1967, Mrs. Wallace Campbell, an ornithologist, and Ms. Page Dunlap combined forces to start a local National Audubon Society chapter with members from nine of the ten counties we still serve today. Initially, we were called the Buckley Hills Audubon Society, taking the name from the Clyde E Buckley Wildlife Sanctuary, at that time a recently-dedicated natural area created as a local Audubon sanctuary which we intended to help National Audubon manage. The first official meeting of the Buckley Hills Audubon Society was held on October 26, 1967. Officers and a Board of Directors were elected the next month. We continue to represent the National Audubon Society, a local presence for its ideals and goals. In 2014, with the retirement of the Buckley Wildlife Sanctuary's 35+ year manager, National Audubon relinquished management of the sanctuary and our organization assumed its current name – Central Kentucky Audubon Society, or CKAS – to better reflect the area we serve.
Impact Statement
We work on a local level to bring attention to broader bird-related issues. CKAS is the voice for birds in central Kentucky; we are the boots on the ground protecting their habitat.
"If you take care of the birds, you will take care of most of the problems of the world."
– Dr. Thomas Lovejoy
  Professor of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University
In addition to sponsoring educational exhibits like the live raptor display every February at the Fayette County District Science Fair, we're working on several conservation projects, most intended to assist bird species with high "conservation concern scores" on the annual State of the Birds report or those cited as "of concern" by the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission and/or listed in the Wildlife Action Plans of the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife. We build Prothonotary Warbler nest tubes for placement along creeks and rivers at Wildlife Management Areas across the state, we put up Barn Owl houses and American Kestrel houses at local wineries and parks, and we help local farmers adapt haying schedules to better meet the nesting habitat needs of Bobolinks and other local grassland birds. We plan to build and place multiple Eastern Bluebird boxes, to start restoring native grasses at local parks, and to fund the first permanent MOTUS migration tracking station in Kentucky. We hope to extend our educational outreach by helping local science teachers build and maintain chimney swift towers at their schools, by presenting free movies and hosting events that help people realize the beauty and value of birds, and by otherwise sharing our love for and desire to protect birds – the same love and desire that founded the National Audubon Society over 100 years ago.
Needs Statement Though most of our members are from Fayette and Woodford counties, we serve a ten-county area in central Kentucky. We need people who love birds to get more involved: join us for walks and meetings, volunteer to help help with the annual Bluegrass Birding Festival each May, help with our nest box builds and conservation projects, write for our monthly newsletter (writers of all ages/skill levels welcome!), and share with us any ideas you might have to help the birds in our area and/or in Kentucky at large.
CEO/Executive Director Statement
We find ourselves between the hundred-year anniversaries of two extinctions: the last passenger pigeon died on September 1st, 2014 and the last Carolina parakeet died on February 21, 1918.

Martha, the last known passenger pigeon, had lived her whole life in captivity and passed away in the night at the Cincinnati Zoo on September 1st, 1914. It’s commonly believed that she was twenty-nine years old, old age for a pigeon. She survived the last known member of her species by a little over four years, during which time the Zoo even offered a $1,000 reward to anyone who could find her a mate. She was famous even before her death, a symbol for the threat of extinction. Many Americans believed Passenger Pigeons could never go extinct because at one point their flocks numbered in the billions. Several reports from the early 1800s record migrations of so many birds that they would block out the sun, blacken the skies for days. But commercial exploitation of pigeon meat on a massive scale and loss of habitat for farming dropped their numbers below the threshold necessary to propagate the species.

Incas, the last Carolina parakeet died on February 21, 1918, coincidentally in the same Cincinnati Zoo aviary cage in which Martha had died nearly four years earlier. Incas' mate, Lady Jane, had died less than a year earlier. The species is believed to have died out because of a number of different threats. To make space for more agricultural land, large areas of forest were cut down, taking away its habitat. The bird's colorful feathers (green body, yellow head, red face around the bill) were in high demand as decorations in ladies' hats. The birds were also kept as pets and could be bred easily in captivity (though little was done by owners to increase the population of tamed birds even after people began to realize the species' looming extinction). Finally, they were killed in large numbers because farmers considered them a pest. A factor that contributed to their extinction was the unfortunate flocking behavior of rushing to the aid of their injured, leading to even more being shot as the birds gathered about the wounded and dead members of the flock.

Many of our members hope these two sad anniversaries will be a call to action. But in November of 2013, two endangered Whooping Cranes were illegally shot and killed in Hopkins County, here in Kentucky. Even if authorities ever catch the perpetrator, the courts have usually imposed minimal penalties – sometimes as low as $1 and a few month probation instead of the possible $100,000 fine and one year in prison which the law allows. Then in November of 2016, to push investment in clean energy sources, the U.S. Interior Department and the Fish and Wildlife Service approved thirty-year eagle-taking permits at wind turbines, essentially allowing wind-power companies to injure or kill Bald and Golden Eagles without fear of prosecution for the next three decades. “Instead of balancing the need for conservation and renewable energy, Interior wrote the wind industry a blank check,” said National Audubon President David Yarnold.

We need to stand for our beliefs, and (even more importantly) we also need to act on them. So we are. Central Kentucky Audubon Society members engage in several projects designed to assist birds listed as “species of concern” in Kentucky. We're mounting Barn Owl and American Kestrel houses at local wineries. We build Prothonotary Warbler nest boxes – as many as 100 at a time – to donate to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife. We encourage owners of fields known to be nesting areas for Henslow’s Sparrows and Bobolinks to delay their seasonal mow until later in the Fall after the young birds have fledged. We are looking into restoring native prairie in some of our local parks and other ways we can improve local bird habitat. We partner with Bluegrass Earth, Lexington Public Library, Good Foods Co-Op, Sierra Club, Bluegrass GreenSource, Wild Ones, the Urban Forestry Initiative, and other environmental organizations to present free movie showings: Wings of Life, The City Dark, Chasing Ice, The Messenger, and many others. We help Wild Birds Unlimited and Lexington Parks & Recreation put on the annual Bluegrass Birding Festival, hoping to share our love of birds and to introduce local birding to youth and families throughout the region. We orchestrated a Master Mural Class with the internationally-renowned muralist Hitnes for several UK students and local artist and secured permission and funding to paint an Audubon-themed mural on UK's Ecolocogical Research and Education Center.

We can’t do all this without your help, and we extend our deepest thanks to those who have already been hard at work for the birds. If you want to get more involved with these or other projects, drop an e-mail to President@CKAS.org. Do it in memory of Martha and Incas.
Board Chair Statement
"Birds are a gateway drug to environmental activism. A person can't notice – I mean really notice – the beauty of birds and not be moved to wonder. I'm talking about the beauty of birds beyond those that come to a yard feeder, though those birds are often impressive and fun to watch. I'm talking about the birds most people usually don't see, that most people don't even realize are there. The bold variety of warblers gleaning in the tops of trees during migration, the elusive vireos singing their hearts out at the forest's edge, the small grassland birds perched on tall field weeds or along our miles of highway fences, the horned larks and snow buntings that visit us in winter. Easy birds to see if you know where to look for them and if you make time to look. Over 385 bird species have been reported in Kentucky, but most people have only ever  noticed maybe fifty. Most people can name even fewer. There's something beautiful about a Blue-gray Gnat-catcher working its way through a hawthorn tree, and I think it's unfortunate that many people will never experience the joy that is watching this small bird flit through the shadows hunting insects.
But if you notice birds – really notice birds, learn to look for them and make a concerted effort to spend time watching them – you can't help but be astounded. The variety of bird species, the range of shapes, sizes, colors, the minute differences in their calls, the shyness of some, the aplomb of others. It can strike you dumb, realizing birds. Then from there, it doesn't take much to recognize how interconnected they are with their environment, how intricately linked birds are to habitat. Like I said, a gateway drug: next thing you know you want to help protect that beauty you've noticed. Doing so means helping protect the environment upon which that beauty is so dependent.
That's why I'm involved with Audubon. The world could always use a little more beauty. CKAS has a real opportunity to do some good for birds, to help protect beauty in our little corner of the world."
 – Tony Brusate
    President, CKAS
Service Categories
Secondary Organization Category Animal Related / Wildlife Preservation & Protection
Tertiary Organization Category Animal Related / Bird Sanctuaries
Geographic Areas Served
We represent ten counties in central Kentucky: Anderson, Bourbon, Boyle, Clark, Fayette, Jessamine, Madison, Mercer, Scott, and Woodford.
Impact Questions
GoalsHelpWhat is the organization aiming to accomplish? This is the organization's ultimate goal for intended impact. Our organization's goal is to help birds, specifically those in central Kentucky, but also those in the rest of the state and beyond. The birds that come into our yards fly all over the world. If we can make our yards, our neighborhoods, our cities, and our part of the world safer for birds, that's a good thing and it's important to us. This starts by identifying what the birds in our area need and then working to provide assistance, whether by establishing nesting areas, food sources, safe habitat or working to influence bird-friendly legislation. We feel that every native species of bird is important and we want to do our part to help them thrive.
StrategiesHelpWhat are the organization's strategies for its stated long-term goals? Meeting our goals involves a mix of hand-on projects, education for school children and the general public, and occasionally lobbying for bird-friendly laws and regulations. We want to build barn owl and kestrel houses, set up bluebird trails, restore native grasses at local parks, put up chimney swift towers in parks and at local schools, help science teachers bring the wonder of birds to their students, show movies that emphasize the need for habitat conservation, and hold birding festivals to share our love of birds with the people of central Kentucky.
CapabilitiesHelpWhat are the organization’s capabilities for doing this? What resources, capacities, and connections support its progress towards long-term goals? We have the strength of the National Audubon Society behind us. They've been supportive with small grants and they want to see us do whatever it takes to help birds in our area. We've gotten better at determining what birds in central Kentucky need, in part by partnering with groups like the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife's Non-Game Division to expand our wingspan. If there's one thing that holds us back, it's finding the time to accomplish everything we want to do. Though it never surprises us how many people love birds, we could always use a few more hands getting important work to help birds done. We have over 900 CKAS chapter members throughout our ten-county area; we're working to get them all involved, then how to get all their friends involved, and so on. We would like to double our capacity to help birds over the next few years.
IndicatorsHelpHow will the organization know if it is making progress? What are the key qualitative and quantitative indicators against which the organization assesses its progress toward its intended impact? We know we are making progress when we dedicate an owl or kestrel house, when even before the Science Fair starts there are young "bird groupies" waiting at the table to see the raptors, when the question and answer session after an environmental movie we've shown runs so long that the library has to kick us out, when someone we've never met shows up at a meeting or volunteers to help with our projects, when Lexington or any surrounding cities adopt bird-friendly legislation or building standards, when a "species of concern" in central Kentucky increases in number and moves a little closer to being removed from that list, and when we never again hear reports of birds as endangered as Whooping Cranes being wantonly shot here in Kentucky.
ProgressHelpWhat has and hasn’t been accomplished so far?
When we first thought up our Barn Owl Project, hoping to build and put up barn owls at local wineries so the owls would benefit from having more safe places to live and the wineries would benefit from some free rodent control, we weren't sure if the wineries would be interested. But every winery we've approached has thought the idea was spectacular. We put up our first house at Talon in 2014 and the second at Chrisman Mill shortly after. We hope to extend the project to many other locations. For those locations that don't really have an old unused silo or barn suitable for barn owls, we can provide houses for American kestrels, another species of concern. So we've learned to partner with people and we've learned to adapt when needed. And we're learning how to move people from just liking pretty birds to actually rolling up sleeves and getting involved with helping our feathered friends.
One of our most successful projects to date has been helping Prothonotary Warblers. We've built over 280 nest tubes that we donated to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife for placement at Wildlife Management Areas around the state. Prothonotary Warblers are on of National Audubon's "priority species." They have a Conservation Concern Score of 14 on the most recent State of the Birds report (American Robins are a 5, Ivory-Billed Woodpeckers are an 18, anything over 12 is deemed "at risk") and the Prothonotary is an easy bird to help in that they readily accept man-made nesting structures and have a high site fidelity year-to-year. The first hundred tubes went up in 2016. These had a 35% acceptance rate at some WMAs, and generated 16 documented nests which produced 63 chicks. The project was featured in a segment on Kentucky Afield.
Board Chair
Board Chair Prof. Anthony C Brusate
Company Affiliation n/a
Term June 2014 to July 2018
Board Members
Dr. Ramesh BhattDepartment of Psychology at University of Kentucky
Ms. Rebecca BrownCommunity VolunteerVoting
Mr. Tony Brusaten/aNonVoting
Dr. Jessica HollisOhio University Department of EnglishVoting
Mr. David LangRetiredVoting
Ms. Angela MyersYankee CandleVoting
Mr. Nic PattonWild Birds UnlimitedVoting
Ms. Paula PlonskiCenter for Clinical and Translational Science at University of KentuckyVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity. Add number
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 7
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 1 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 4
Female 4
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 4
Board Term Limits 5
Board Meeting Attendance % 88%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Under Development
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? No
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 88%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 5
Board Co-Chair
Board CoChair Mr. David Lang
Company Affiliation Retired
Term June 2015 to June 2019
Email VP@CKAS.org
Additional Board Members and Affiliations
Mrs. Josephine BarrowsRetired
Mr. James CainRetired
Mr. Dillard GriffinKentucky American Water
CEO Comments Some years ago, the National Audubon Society loosened the requirements for local Chapter governance rules and regulations. Our Constitution, last updated in 1986, still meets the general National requirements, but it no longer fits our with current habitat protection/ environmental education/ citizen science direction. We've consequently begun a major overhaul of this document. We hope to have it revised and approved soon.
CEO/Executive Director
Executive Director Prof. Tony Brusate
Term Start June 2011
Email president@CKAS.org
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 0
Volunteers 22
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 0%
Management Reports to Board? Yes
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 0
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 0
Unspecified 0
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation N/A
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
NonManagement Formal Evaluation N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Description The Prothonotary Warbler is listed on the National Audubon "Priority Birds List" and on the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife targeted Action Plans. It ranks a 14 out of 20 Conservation Concern Score on the North American Bird Conservation Initiative's State of the Birds Report ( American Robins are a 5, Ivory-billed Woodpeckers are an 18; any bird over 12 is considered "at risk").  But they are easy birds to help: they will nest in just about anything.  They live along marshes, creeks, and rivers from Central Kentucky to the western parts of the state, many now residing in the over 280 nest tubes CKAS has built and donated to KDFWR for distribution to Wildlife Management Areas throughout the state.  This program was featured in a Kentucky Afield segment and during a Strategic Planning session at the 2017 National Audubon Convention.
Budget 1000
Description In June of 2017, we participated in our first Audubon Climate Watch Bird Count to help Audubon check the accuracy of its 2014 Birds & Climate Change Report. We chose the Eastern Bluebird as our target species and, following Audubon's guidelines, selected 10 km x 10 km preset squares within the CKAS membership area, picked twelve spots in each square where the habitat was likely to support bluebirds, and sent groups to do spot counts specifically targeting bluebirds but logging all the birds seen or heard. We'd thought locating bluebirds would be easy, but some of our better birders couldn't manage to find even one. We suspect our inability to locate Eastern Bluebirds points to a decline in their population. The species may still be suffering effects of the polar vortexes a few years back when whole bluebird families were found frozen to death, huddled in boxes. Providing better nesting boxes should help their numbers, so we plan to set out boxes where the birds were noticeably missing.
Budget 1000
Description Barn Owls were plentiful across Kentucky as late as the 1960s. Currently, however, there are only about sixty documented nesting locations statewide; the Barn Owl is included as a "species of greatest conservation need" in Kentucky's 2005 State Wildlife Action Plan. Barn Owls have gradually lost their historic nesting and foraging habitat as landowners cut down old trees and convert pastures, hayfields, and grasslands to row crops. Vineyards, however, provide good barn owl habitat: the fields of grapes provide ample hunting grounds. So we are approaching the dozen+ wineries in central Kentucky to hopefully put up boxes at each. We have worked closely with the KDFWR Non-Game Division to select suitable sites, and for monitoring and banding purposes. We even helped arrange a release of a rescued Barn Owl at one of our nest box locations. We hope to have success attracting at least one nesting Barn Owl pair in the near future.
Budget 1500

Every year for the last several, we've sponsored the Raptor Exhibit at the District Science Fair. We contract Raptor Rehab out of Louisville to bring several of their live education birds to the event. It's always a big hit with the students and the parents alike. We've had an assortment of kestrels, owls, vulture, eagles, and hawks all live at the event. It's an opportunity for people to see up close these magnificent birds, to ask questions about them, and to snap picture after picture. We also give away several bird-inspired door prizes and a few free one-year memberships to the National Audubon Society.
Budget 750
Description We are currently investigating the feasibility of reestablishing native grass areas at several local parks. This idea began with hoping to reclaim some area at Masterson Station Park, but it has quickly expanded into a discussion of Hisle and Veterans Parks. We are working with Lexington Parks & Rec, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, and the National Resource Conservation Service to evaluate potential locations. Taking the restored grass areas at Shaker Village as an example, we hope to plant native clump grasses and a variety of forbs, aiming to attract and provide habitat for several native grassland species of concern like Bobolinks, Dickcissel, or Henslow's and Grasshopper Sparrows.
Budget 1000
Plans & Policies
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers N/A
Management Succession Plan? Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Affiliate/Chapter of National Organization (i.e. Girl Scouts of the USA, American Red Cross, etc.) - Affiliate/Chapter1968
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the Government? Yes
Revenue vs Expenses - All Years
Expense Breakdown - Recent Year
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start July 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End June 30, 2018
Projected Revenue $10,500.00
Projected Expenses $9,850.00
Endowment Value $32,490.00
Spending Policy N/A
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available). Revenue from foundations and corporations may be included in individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201720162015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions$625$350$340
Investment Income, Net of Losses$1$1$4
Membership Dues$260$60$320
Special Events------
Revenue In-Kind------
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$4,971$8,739$6,410
Administration Expense$1,053$892$15
Fundraising Expense$2,408$900$761
Payments to Affiliates$1,244$267$2,784
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.981.091.10
Program Expense/Total Expenses51%81%64%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$71,021$63,347$62,955
Current Assets$38,529$38,740$38,035
Long-Term Liabilities----$24,919
Current Liabilities------
Total Net Assets$71,021$63,347$62,955
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
State Registration Yes
CEO Comments
1) Federal 990-N forms are filed under Buckley Hills Audubon Society though we legally do business in Kentucky as Central Kentucky Audubon Society.
2) Changes in organization management and communication issues caused a lapse in Federal 990-N filings from 2010 to 2012. No penalties were incurred.
Foundation Staff Comments This organization files the 990N postcard, which requires no financial information. Financials were provided by the organization. Numbers are unaudited.
Address 524 Rosemont Garden
LEXINGTON , KY 405031742
Primary Phone 859 229-9421
Contact Email president@CKAS.org
CEO/Executive Director Prof. Tony Brusate
Board Chair Prof. Anthony C Brusate
Board Chair Company Affiliation n/a