American Birding Podcast



Announcing the 2017 ABA Awards Recipients!

The ABA Board of Directors recently voted to present three ABA Awards in 2017. The awardees are Judy Pollock, Jerry Liguori, and Scott Weidensaul. We congratulate each of them on their substantial achievements.

The 2017 ABA Awards Recipients (l-r): Judy Pollock (Evanston, IL) Jerry Liguori (Salt Lake City, UT), Scott Weidensaul (Schuylkill Haven, PA).


The 2017 Betty Petersen Award for Conservation and Community goes to Judy Pollock of Evanston, Illinois.

Judy Pollock has been described as the backbone of bird conservation in the Chicago area for nearly two decades. She has been at the center of dozens of projects, large and small, often taking on an the most difficult roles—coalition-building, grant writing, planning—to bring them to fruition. Among her successful endeavors are Lights Out Chicago, a light reduction program in the downtown areas during spring and fall migration which the City of Chicago later took up, and the launch of Wild Indigo Natural Explorations, engaging residents in Chicago’s poor, and mostly African-American south and west sides, in their local forest preserves.

She encourages Chicago-area residents to take pride and ownership in their local natural areas and to become advocates for those places, creating new alliances in the process.


The 2017 Robert Ridgway Award for Publications in Field Ornithology goes to Jerry Liguori of Salt Lake City, Utah

Arguably, no birder or author has had a greater influence on the study and field identification of birds of prey than Jerry Liguori. His two best-known books, Hawks From Every Angle (2005) and Hawks At A Distance (2011), are widely read, appreciated, and successful books aimed at the identification of hawks in flight, helping countless birders identify hawks in the field. In addition, Jerry has been the author of more than 25 papers, many of which have been published in the ABA’s Birding magazine and North American Birds journal, that have shed new light on topics of geographic variation, age-related plumage progression, and molt in raptors. He continues to engage with the public on a variety of platforms, and freely shares his insight into raptor identification and field study.


The 2017 Roger Tory Peterson Award for Promoting the Cause of Birding goes to Scott Weidensaul of Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania

Scott Weidensaul is well-known and respected for his involvement in practically every aspect of bird community and culture in North America. The author of two dozen books, including Living on the Wind, which was the finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in 2000, Weidensaul is also an acclaimed speaker, a mentor to a host of young birders in Pennsylvania and beyond, and an active field researcher with a special interest in owls and bird migration. He is the co-founder of both Project Owlnet, a collaboration of more than 200 research stations across the North America focusing on owl migration, and Project SNOWstorm, the fascinating project that uses GPS technology to monitor Snowy Owl movements. He continues to be an inspiration to those who he works with, and to those who admire his efforts and insight from afar.


ABA congratulates these fine members of the birding community on their achievements and invites all members to join us in doing so.