The Wisconsin Society for Ornithology Awards Program recognizes individuals or organizations that have made outstanding achievements in advancing bird conservation, promoting the field of ornithology, and contributing to the Society. The first WSO award recipient was Herbert L. Stoddard in 1940. The WSO Board of Directors selects recipients based on nominations received during an open nomination period. With the exception of the Hospitality Award, all award recipients are formally recognized during the Awards Presentation and Reception held at each WSO Annual Convention. We encourage members to recognize contributions of their peers by participating in the nomination process. For further information about individual awards or the awards process, contact Awards Chair Andy Paulios at .
- Hospitality – recognizes home and business owners that are gracious hosts and stewards of rare bird species.
- Noel J. Cutright Conservation Award - recognizes outstanding contributions to bird conservation in Wisconsin.
- Bronze Passenger Pigeon - presented to individuals who have made outstanding contributions in their local communities or in the state to promote the field of ornithology.
- Golden Passenger Pigeon – presented to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the field of ornithology.
- Silver Passenger Pigeon – presented to members of WSO for distinguished service to the Society.
- Certificate of Achievement - given to previous recipients of the Silver Passenger Pigeon who continue to provide exceptional service to the WSO.
- Samuel D. Robbins Lifetime Achievement – honors people who actively contribute to the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology above and beyond their having previously received the Silver Passenger Pigeon Award.
WSO is actively seeking suggestions for award recipients. You can send an e-mail to to make a suggestion.
The Hospitality Award recognizes home and business owners that are gracious hosts and stewards of rare bird species. It is presented to private citizens and businesses that allow birdwatchers to access their properties and view rare birds, as well as those that act as responsible stewards to rare bird species. Recipients of this award receive a Certificate of Hospitality and will be recognized in the WSO newsletter. If you are interested in nominating someone for a Hospitality Award, please send the name and address of the nominee, along with a short description of what they did to merit the award, to
Noel J. Cutright Conservation Award
The Noel J. Cutright Conservation Award was initiated in 2005 as the Green Passenger Pigeon Award. In 2014 the name was changed to honor one of Wisconsin's premier bird conservationists. Recipients may be an individual/group/organization that made contributions in the following:
- working on behalf of endangered, threatened, and/or common species
- promoting the establishment, management, and protection of bird habitat
- educating the public on bird conservation issues
|WDNR Bureau of Endangered Resources||2007|
|International Crane Foundation||2005|
Bronze Passenger Pigeon Award
The Bronze Passenger Pigeon award was initiated in 1994. This award is presented to individuals who have made outstanding contributions in their local communities or in the state to promote the field of ornithology. The contributions may be through teaching (all levels); through conservation work (protection, preservation, restoration of habitat, etc.); or through organizational efforts (forming bird clubs or other groups which further ornithology).
|Dr. Charles Sontag||2014|
|Richard L. Verch||2013|
|Roy and Charlotte Lukes||2010|
|Ty and Ida Baumann||2009|
|Karen and Jerry Smith||2008|
|Karen Etter Hale||2004|
|Roy and Charlotte Lukes||1999|
|John L. Kaspar||1996|
|Charles R. Sindelar||1996|
|Daniel D. Berger||1994|
|Mrs. Webster (Winnie) Woodmansee||1994|
Golden Passenger Pigeon Award
Initiated in 1939 as "Honorary Life," this award for outstanding achievement in the science of ornithology was renamed the "Golden Passenger Pigeon" in 1978. It is awarded for recognized published research, major book efforts or other such work in ornithology. It conveys life WSO membership upon the recipient and is limited to 15 living members at any time.
|Thomas R. Schultz||2001|
|Stanley A. Temple||1989|
|Samuel D. Robbins||1974|
|Chandler S. Robbins||1970|
|John T. Emlen||1967|
|Joseph J. Hickey||1966|
|Dr. Joel Carl Welty||1964|
|Wallace B. Grange||1950|
|Leon J. Cole||1942|
|Hartley H. T. Jackson||1942|
|A. W. Schorger||1941|
|Herbert L. Stoddard, Sr.||1940|
Silver Passenger Pigeon Award
The Silver Passenger Pigeon award was initiated in 1964. Presented to members of the WSO for "Distinguished Service" to the Society.
|Don Reel and Christine Reel||2009|
|Bettie R. Harriman||1998|
|Margie Amato and Mark Amato||1996|
|Thomas R. Schultz||1994|
|Allen K. Shea||1994|
|Kenneth I. Lange||1993|
|Stanley A. Temple||1993|
|John H. Idzikowski||1992|
|Stephen J. Lang||1992|
|Mark S. Peterson||1992|
|Thomas K. Soulen||1992|
|J. J. Peartree||1987|
|Roy Lukes and Charlotte Lukes||1984|
|Mr. Hal Roberts and Mrs. (Nancy) Roberts||1977|
|Mr. Earl Schmidt and Mrs. (Norma) Schmidt||1976|
|Elmer W. Strehlow||1976|
|Dr. Fred Baumgartner and Marguerite Baumgartner||1975|
|Dr. Donald Kindschi||1975|
|Wilbur D. Brown||1973|
|Mr. Arthur Gauerke and Mrs. (Lucy) Gauerke||1972|
|Charles E. Nelson||1969|
|Mr. David Cox and Mrs. (Hazel) Cox||1967|
|Mr. Al Holz and Mrs. (Phyllis) Holz||1967|
|Dr. Howard Young||1967|
|Harold A. Bauers||1966|
|Dr. Fred Hamerstrom and Mrs. (Fran) Hamerstrom||1966|
|Harold G. Liebherr||1966|
|Stanley L. Polachek||1966|
|Judge J. Allen Simpson||1966|
|J. Harwood Evans||1965|
|Carl P. Frister||1965|
|Dr. Charles A. Kemper||1965|
|Norval R. Barger||1964|
|Mr. Harold Kruse and Mrs. (Carla) Kruse||1964|
|Rev. Samuel D. Robbins||1964|
|Walter E. Scott||1964|
|Dr. Harry Steenbock||1964|
|Mrs. R. A. Walker||1964|
Certificate of Achievement
The Certificate of Achievement was initiated in 1981. It is presented to recipients of the Silver Passenger Pigeon award who continue to provide exceptional service to the WSO.
|Norval R. Barger||1994|
|Samuel D. Robbins, Jr.||1993|
|Carl G. Hayssen, Jr.||1992|
|Dr. Howard Young||1992|
Samuel D. Robbins Lifetime Achievement Award
The Samuel D. Robbins Lifetime Achievement award was initiated in 2000. Honors those people who actively contribute to the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology above and beyond their having previously received the Silver Passenger Pigeon Award (for service to WSO) and the WSO Certificate of Appreciation (for continued service to WSO).
|Charles A. Kemper||2004|