Ornithology awards

Each year we present awards to celebrate those who have made outstanding contributions to ornithology.

  • Submissions are now closed for 2023 and will re-open in spring 2024

View all our ornithological award winners including those from 2023 >

The Bernard Tucker Medal 

The Bernard Tucker Medal is awarded in recognition of outstanding contributions to BTO’s scientific work, for example through their contribution to published scientific studies (ornithology), establishment of long-term monitoring projects, establishment/advancement of best practice, establishment and/or development of BTO surveys, contribution of expert knowledge to publications e.g. Atlas species accounts.

The Jubilee Medal

The Jubilee Medal is awarded to individuals who have shown outstanding and committed devotion to BTO, for example through ambassadorial work (giving talks, attending events), organising BTO surveys locally or regionally, fundraising for BTO, surveying particularly challenging areas, data inputting/system testing/archiving/digitising records, writing/contributing to books, supporting monitoring schemes, training ringing trainees, contributing as Regional Representatives or leading training courses for BTO.

The Dilys Breese Medal

The Dilys Breese Medal is awarded to an outstanding communicator who delivers science to new audiences. The medal is awarded on an annual basis by BTO. Dilys Breese, a former Vice President of BTO, was a renowned radio and television producer. In her honour, the BTO Council created the Dilys Breese BTO Medal. Unique among BTO’s ornithology awards, the Dilys Breese Medal candidates are nominated by BTO staff.

The Marsh Awards

The Marsh Awards are supported by the Marsh Charitable Trust and presented by BTO at the Society of Wildlife Artists (SWLA) event. 

  • Marsh Award for Ornithology - Awarded to an individual or group who has had or is likely to have a significant impact in science, policy, practice, innovation, communication or engagement in the field of ornithology and particularly in relation to the UK’s birds.
  • Marsh Award for Local Ornithology - Awarded to a bird club or group that publishes a book, completes a study or conducts any other exceptional activity in the preceding calendar year that advances knowledge about birds.
  • Marsh Award for Young Ornithologist - Awarded to an individual (or group of people) under the age of 21 who has/have made a significant contribution to BTO either by contributing to BTO’s bird monitoring schemes or by spreading awareness of BTO with their peers, or both.

Past winners of ornithological awards

Take a look at our list of ornithological award winners including TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham and environmental journalist and author, Mike McCarthy.

How to nominate a candidate for an award

We welcome nominations from anyone via a form on this page which opens towards the end of March each year. The closing date for submissions is usually 31 May each year. Before making a nomination please read the award criteria above carefully. Please note that Dilys Breese Medal candidates are nominated by BTO staff.

  • IMPORTANT: Nominations are expected to be 300-500 words and should explain clearly how the nominee meets the criteria of the award.

If you need advice about a potential nomination or need help preparing your nomination, please contact Ieuan Evans by email ieuan.evans [at] bto.org in BTO’s Engagement Department. 

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