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Announcing the 2016 ABA Awards Recipients!


The ABA Board of Directors recently voted to make three presentations of ABA Awards in 2016. The awardees are Keith Russell, Ann Nightingale, and Robert A. Lewis. We want to inform all ABA members and the community of the identity of the awardees and to congratulate each of them on their substantial achievements.

The 2016 ABA Awards recipients, from l to r, Keith Russell (Philadelphia, PA), Ann Nightingale (Vancouver, BC), and Bob Russell (Berkely, CA)

The 2016 ABA Awards recipients, from l to r, Keith Russell (Philadelphia, PA), Ann Nightingale (Victoria, BC), and Robert A. Lewis (Berkeley, CA)


The 2016 Ludlow Griscom Award for Contributions to Regional Ornithology goes to Keith Russell of Philadelphia, PA.

Keith Russell has lived, worked, and birded virtually his whole life in the Philadelphia area and is a longtime member of the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club (DVOC), where he is past recipient of the club’s Witmer Stone and Julian Potter Awards. He has is the creator and long-time organizer of the Philadelphia Midwinter Bird Census. Conducted annually since 1987, it is arguably the longest running and most ambitious winter bird census of any urban area in the United States and Canada.

Keith has also discovered a number of Philadelphia birding areas that were heretofore unknown and undiscovered by Philadelphia area birders, many of which were places that previously had been inaccessible and whose ornithological value had been unknown. More recently, he has been instrumental in setting up the $17 million Discovery Center at the city’s East Park Reservoir, an organization whose mission is to afford nearby inner-city children with opportunities to encounter an open natural space and to enjoy environmental education.


The 2016 Betty Petersen Award for Conservation and Community goes to Ann Nightingale of Victoria, British Columbia.

Ann Nightingale is an active British Columbia birder and a tireless promoter of birding.  She has been deeply involved with numerous conservation efforts, public outreach programs and liaison activities on Vancouver Island.  Ann is a past President and Board Member of the Rocky Point Bird Observatory (RPBO), which has contributed extensive knowledge about birdlife in southwest British Columbia, and she is a past winner of the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award for her work there. She is the face of the Vancouver Island birding community, appearing on local radio and TV, making countless presentations to local communities on birds and birding and representing a vital liaison between the birding community and the general public.


The 2016 Chandler Robbins Award for Education/Conservation goes to Robert A. Lewis of Berkeley, CA.

Robert Lewis is President and Board Member of the Farallon Islands Foundation (FIF), which is devoted to island conservation. He is also a Board member and Chair of the Adult Education Committee of the Golden Gate Audubon Society (GGAS).  In this last capacity, Lewis developed the set of adult education offerings of the society – currently nine separate classes each fall. His highly popular “Birds of the Bay Area” class has been offered twice a year for 22 years and attracts up to 40 students to each class. His Master Birding Class, now in its third year, is an intensive year-long program that includes 11 lectures and 11 field trips, and requires students to write a technical paper, give a talk, lead a field trip, and to volunteer 100 hours over two years to conservation organizations.  Robert is also a Christmas Bird Count compiler and a frequent speaker at bird clubs.


ABA congratulates these fine members of the birding community on their achievements and invites all members to do the same.

Michael Bowen

Chair, Awards Committee, American Birding Association

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  • Michael Bowen

    Fellow ABA Members – I hope you are as impressed as I am with the breadth and depth of the achievements of this year’s ABA Awardees. As you move about in the world of birding, please be alert to other such incredible people. Then seriously consider nominating them for an Award in future years. The next deadline is 12/31/16.

    Michael Bowen, Bethesda, MD. Chair, ABA Awards Committee

  • Melissa H

    Congratulations to all recipients but especially to my friend Ann Nightingale who truly deserves the award!

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