New York State
Ornithological Association

For the birders and birds of the Empire State

NYSOA  Awards Program

This page last updated 11/19/17

Each fall, NYSOA presents awards at the Annual Meeting banquet. Nominations for awards can be made by member clubs/organizations. For the Stoner Award, nominations can be made by member clubs/organizations or individual NYSOA members.  The awards are:

Send nominations to the the .  The deadline for 2018 nominations is June 20, 2018.

The Gordon M. Meade Distinguished Service Award  UPDATED 11/19/17

This special award is given to individuals for outstanding service to NYSOA.  Send suggestions to the .

Most recently (in 2017), two individuals were recognized with the Gordon M. Meade Distinguished Service Award:

  • Barbara Butler, for her outstanding service to NYSOA in a wide variety of capacities over many years. Barbara served for six years as one of the first group of NYSOA directors; served on the Resolutions Committee for ten years, created NYSOA's first website with Kevin McGowan, was Recording Secretary for two years, and held the position of Membership Database & Circulation Manager for six years.
  • Angus Wilson, for his outstanding leadership and service to NYSOA as Chairman of the New York State Avian Records Committee for 18 years. Angus implemented processes to facilitate bird sighting reviews by the committee. He also spearheaded the development and expansion of the now extensive NYSARC area of the NYSOA website, enabling online submission of rare bird sighting reports, establishing a historical NYSARC sightings data base and making detailed historical data available to the public online.

            The previous 5 winners of the Gordon M. Meade Distinguished Service Award were:

  • Andy Mason (2014)
  • Carena Pooth (2012)
  • Phyllis Jones (2011)
  • Tim Baird (2010)
  • William B. Reeves (2009)

See a list of all Gordon M. Meade Award Winners since 1976  UPDATED 11/15/17


The President's Award

The President's Award was most recently given to Irving Cantor in 2016 to recognize his more than 30 years of outstanding service on NYSOA/FNYSBC's Auditing Committee. His sage advice will be greatly missed.

The President's Award was previously given to:

  • Barbara Butler (2014)
  • Jeanne Skelly (2007)
  • Bob Miller (2001)
  • Phyllis Jones (2000)


The Emanuel Levine Memorial Award

This award, formerly the John J. Elliott Award, recognizes the best Kingbird article each year, selected by the editorial staff. The 2017 Emanuel Levine Award went to Doug Gochfeld, for “What’s It Gonna Be?  Predicting the Next New Additions to the Avifauna of New York” which was published in The Kingbird, Volume 66, Number 1, March 2016.


            The previous 5 winners of the John J. Elliott / Emanuel Levine Memorial Award were:

  • Kathryn Schneider (2016)
  • Guy A. Baldassare and Joshua Stiller (2015)
  • Kyle Wright (2014)
  • Joseph Chernek (2013)
  • Mark Manske (2012)

See a list of all John J. Elliott & Emanuel Levine Memorial Award Winners since 1965 UPDATED 11/19/17



The Lillian C. Stoner Award UPDATED 11/15/17

In 1975 Lillian C. Stoner,  a founding member of the Federation of New York State Bird Clubs (now NYSOA), donated money to the organization to establish a fund to enable a student to attend the Annual Meeting each year. The intent of the award is not so much to recognize past achievement but rather to foster a promising young person’s interest in wild birds and ornithology by offering the education and experience of the fall conference.

NYSOA considers nominees who will, at the time of the conference, be in high school grades 11 or 12 (junior or senior), or in one of their first two years in college (freshman or sophomore).Candidates may be anywhere along the birding skill spectrum from beginner to advanced. Our objective is to select winners who demonstrate a strong interest in wild birds and whose attendance at the Annual Meeting will positively influence their desire to pursue birding and/or ornithology as a lifelong interest.

Nominations may be made by NYSOA member clubs/organizations, NYSOA Individual/Family members, and the New York State Young Birders Club. Every student nominee for this award (whether a winner or not) will receive a one year membership in NYSOA. Each Lillian C. Stoner Award winner will receive a certificate and a monetary award to help defray the cost of attending the Annual Meeting. Winners will be honored publicly at the Annual Meeting banquet and announced in NYSOA's publications and website.

If you are interested in nominating a budding birder (or a more advanced one), submit a completed nomination form to the by June 20 for consideration during the same year.

There were two winners in 2017:   

  • Eamon Freiburger, high school senior, Lagrangeville, NY  
      nominated by the New York State Young Birders Club
  • Hannah Mirando, high school senior, Montauk, NY  
      nominated by the New York State Young Birders Club

Previous winners of the Lillian C. Stoner Award in recent years were:

  • Kai Victor (2016)
  • Joseph Hernandez (2015)
  • Marc Katz (2014)
  • Nathaniel Hernandez; Courtney Moore; Zachariah Smart (2013)
  • Greg Lawrence; Sarah MacLean; Alexandra Hale (2011)
  • Hope Batcheller; Jacob Drucker; Carolyn Sedgwick; Benjamin Van Doren (2010)

See a list of all Lillian C. Stoner Award Winners since 1975
  UPDATED 11/15/17
Download Lillian C. Stoner Award nomination form  


Certificates of Appreciation

In recent years, nominations have been accepted for recipients of Certificates of Appreciation.  Some of these certificates are awarded for exceptional efforts that benefited New York State birds and/or ornithology.  Others have been awarded to "hosts" of rare birds that visited New York State.  These hosts are recognized for their hospitality to birders who came to view the rare bird.  Nominations for Certificates of Appreciation should be submitted in letter form, providing the name and address of the nominee along with the reason for the nomination, to the .

In 2016, Certificates of Appreciation were awarded to:       

  • Keith and Margaret Brace for welcoming birders to their yard to see two wintering Rufous Hummingbirds.
  • Jack Delehanty for welcoming birders to his Tupper Lake property to see a Ross’s Gull in January 2017.
  • Matthew Perry for his many contributions in the Onondaga Region to conserving and restoring bird habitat, advocating for birds, documenting bird life, and educating others about birds.
  • Buffalo Ornithological Society for organizing and hosting the 2017 NYSOA Annual Meeting / NYS Birders Conference.

Other recent Certificates of Appreciation were awarded to:

  • John and Marilyn Paarlberg; Richard Guthrie; Prospect Park Alliance; Rob Bate; Laurie LaFond; Chemung Valley Audubon Society (2016)
  • Candace Giles; Aidan Perkins; Brian White & Connie Soja; Hudson-Mohawk Bird Club (2015)
  • Tom and Wendy Weaver; Cyndy and Richard Tkachuck; Members of the Town of Lansing, NY; Cayuga Bird Club (2014)
  • Andrew Baksh; Nancy and Albert Loomis; Ralph Tabor; Queens County Bird Club (2013)
  • Fred & Eleanor Jordan; Robert Schumann; Dick Zeccola (2012)


See a list of all Certificates of Appreciation since 2006  UPDATED 11/19/17


Member Club/Organization Grants

NYSOA is committed to facilitating the work of its member clubs/organizations and offers modest grants (usually less than $100) to help defray the costs associated with projects they undertake. In the past, grants have been awarded for purchases of equipment for specific projects (e.g. mistnets) and the printing of local or regional bird checklists.  More recently grants have gone toward establishing a bird sightings database and constructing an informational kiosk at Cayuga Lake.  Applications can be made at any time, and should include a brief description of the project, items to be produced, and a statement of how much funding is needed and how the funds will be used relative to the overall project budget.  Send applications in letter form to the .

A member club/organization grant was awarded most recently in 2010 to the Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch to purchase one-page hawk identification guides for an educational event.

Newsletter Award

The Newsletter Award is presented to editors of member club/organization newsletters to recognize both the quality of content and the visual impact of newsletters.  Newsletter Awards were presented in 2000 to:

  • John Burroughs Natural History Society for The Chirp
  • Lake Erie Bird Club for Wrens’ Ramblings
  • Great South Bay Audubon Society for Sanderling
  • Moriches Bay Audubon Society for The Osprey
  • New York City Audubon for The Urban Audubon
  • The Raptor Club for The Raptor Report
  • Ralph T. Waterman Bird Club for the article "A Century of Change" by Stan DeOrsey in Wings over Dutchess

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