ABA Flight Calls – Betty Peterson Award for Conservation and Community


March 28, 2014

ABA Heading back to Alaska in 2014

After a successful two-week run on vagrant-rich St. Paul Island, Alaska, this past fall, the ABA is excited to offer that experience again in 2014.

The Pribilof Islands are located smack in the middle of the Bering Sea and represent the only land in a region of about 50,000 square kilometers, This isolation makes the rugged archipelago ground zero for vagrants from Asia in spring and fall.

This Pine Bunting (Photo by Doug Gochfeld) was photographed in the fall of 2012 at St. Paul Island. It represented the third record for the ABA Area, and the first away from Attu.
Come knowing you are in for no normal birding tour. The birding is rigorous, but it’s frequently rewarding. The 2013 trips enjoyed mouth-watering birds like Fork-tailed Swift, Olive-backed Pipit, and White-tailed Eagle. And just after the ABA groups left, North American’s first Common Redstart made an appearance.

Who knows what else is possible? That’s the excitement of jackpot birding!

For more information on this amazing trip to the far reaches of the ABA Area, check out The ABA Events page. Greg Neise also put together a report on his 2013 trip to St. Paul at The ABA Blog, and the islands were featured in a recent Birding magazine cover story.

We’d love to see you in Alaska this fall!

ABA Honors the Legacy of Betty Petersen

ABA President Jeffrey A. Gordon was in Massachusetts earlier this month, along with Liz Gordon, Conservation and Community Director Bill Stewart, and ABA Board Chair Lou Morrell, for Massachusetts Audubon’s annual Birder’s Meeting, and to present the first Betty Petersen Award for Conservation and Community. The award was made posthumously to Betty herself, in the presence of the community of Massachusetts birders of which she was such an integral and deeply missed part.

Betty’s husband, Wayne, and Betty’s two sisters were on hand to accept the award on Betty’s behalf. It was a wonderful opportunity to remember the life and work of one of the birding community’s brightest lights.

We’re excited to honor the legacy of Betty Petersen and her Birders’ Exchange program with this award in her name. If you know a birder or conservationist who has made a difference to strengthen or diversify the birding community, or who has built a support network for conservation, please let us know.

We know that Betty’s spirit lives on in the work of many birders and conservationists in the ABA Area and throughout the Americas, and we want to be able to give them the recognition they deserve.

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