American Birding Podcast



Call for 2017 ABA Awards Nominations!

By ABA Board Awards Chair Scott Fraser

Another year of birding closes. Year end – time to reflect. As ABA members we recall not only the birds, but people with us in person or spirit, whose impact and work we continue to give thanks for, sometimes year after year.

Conservationists. Teachers. Artists. Performers. Writers. Activists. Those who rise and excel, inspiring and benefiting the cause of birds, birding and birders, sometimes posthumously.

Maybe you know a volunteer delivering spark after spark to youth birders annually? Maybe a community member whose hard work provides dividends in perpetuity?

Many of our best will never raise their hand. Many of our best aren’t widely known. Sometimes that’s why they are… the best. They are not in this for themselves – this is about their passion, their work, their focus.

And occasionally – someone rises above, their lifework so significant it demands recognition and thanks from all of us.

That’s where YOU come in – we need your 2016 ABA Award nominations, and soon – the deadline is December 31, 2016

Time is of the essence – please review the 6 award categories below, and consider deeply and thoughtfully over the next few days whether you know someone who simply must be considered. If so – know that the ABA Awards Committee can only consider them if YOU take the time to complete a thoughtful nomination.

The 2016 ABA Awards recipients, from l to r, Keith Russell – Philadelphia, PA (Ludlow Griscom), Ann Nightingale – Vancouver, BC (Betty Peterson), and Bob Lewis – Berkeley, CA (Chandler Robbins).

Here’s my cliff notes on the six ABA Award categories to get you started:

Chandler Robbins Award – Education/Conservation:

Tireless teachers and/or conservationists inspiring us all.

Claudia Wilds Award – Distinguished Service:

Members moving the ABA forward through sheer force of will.

Robert Ridgway Award – Publications in Field Ornithology:

Lost without it – we rely on their stellar work in the field.

Ludlow Griscom Award – Outstanding Contributions in Regional Ornithology:

Focused citizen scientists expanding the horizons of our understanding and appreciation of local birds.

The ABA Roger Tory Peterson Award for Promoting the Cause of Birding:

Lifetime. Epic. A birder’s birder. Someone all our members would know and nod approvingly: “YES. This award needs to happen!”

For more in depth descriptions please visit

When you nominate someone, please be sure that your nominee’s achievements are closely related to those called for in the award description. Be as specific as you can in your nominations. Do not nominate someone for an award where their contributions to birding do not correspond with the descriptions on the web site and please do not assume that the ABA Awards Committee is necessarily as familiar as you are with the merits of the nominee.

A full list of past awardees can be found here.


How to nominate someone

Use the on-line nominations procedures outlined on the web site here, or use old-fashioned printed nomination forms (they are very welcome too!) and send them in to ABA at: P.O. Box 744, Delaware City, DE 19706. A blank form can be downloaded from the web site.


The nomination and selection process is the same for all awards. ABA Awards will be presented at ABA sponsored or cosponsored events or at appropriate birding venues. Which awards are given each year is the decision of the ABA Board of Directors, based on the recommendations of the ABA Awards Committee. There is no requirement that each award must be given every year.

Nominations can be made only by current members of ABA in good standing. The general membership is strongly encouraged to make nominations. The nominations deadline is DECEMBER 31, 2016

Questions? Ask the committee chair – see contact details below.

 The ABA Awards Committee:

Scott Fraser, Chair scott(AT)

Julie Davis

Terry Rich