By Carol Beidleman
Partners in Flight (PIF) Awards recognize exceptional contributions to the field of landbird conservation, in the categories of leadership, investigations, public awareness, stewardship, and lifetime achievement. We are pleased to announce three of the 2018 PIF Award winners, who were recognized at the PIF Eastern Working Group meeting in April in Tennessee:
RANDY DETTMERS received an individual PIF Leadership Award for his decades of conserving Eastern birds and his long-standing commitment to PIF efforts. In his capacity with the Migratory Bird Program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region, Randy has made significant contributions to priority bird conservation. He has been an active member of PIF’s Steering Committee and International Science Committee, has co-authored many bird conservation plans and technical reports including the 2004 and 2016 PIF Landbird Conservation Plans, was Chair of the PIF Northeast Working Group, and led the effort to create the new PIF Eastern Working Group. Randy has also made significant contributions to priority birds in the nonbreeding season in the Central and South American Highlands and the Dominican Republic, including Bicknell’s Thrush, Wood Thrush, and Cerulean Warbler.
JUDY POLLOCK received an individual PIF Leadership Award for her organizing, innovating, and inspiring generations of bird conservationists in the Chicago Region. She has engaged bird clubs, habitat restoration volunteers, zoo and museum scientists, and government bird conservation professionals to combine bird-friendly habitat restoration with citizen science and community engagement to meet bird conservation goals and through programming to introduce people to birding, bird conservation and bird monitoring. Judy helped spearhead the nation’s first Lights Out program, launched the Chicago Wilderness Grassland Bird Taskforce, was Director of Bird Conservation for the Audubon Chicago Region, and helped found and is on the Board of Directors of the Bird Conservation Network, a coalition of 21 organizations and 35,000 members. She is currently President of the Chicago Audubon Society.
LILIANA CHAVARRÍA-DURIAUX received an individual Public Awareness Award for her work in building a solid foundation for bird conservation in Nicaragua. Liliana has dedicated her life to studying and protecting birds in Nicaragua, and her efforts have led to an increased appreciation for birds among local communities and landowners, and to valuable collaborations with national, regional, and international scientists. She has helped raise international awareness about the importance of this country for bird conservation, through co-authoring bird field guides, giving presentations, leading birding trips for school children, establishing and maintaining bird monitoring stations, and contributing to the conservation of priority shared species through PIF Mesoamerica and the Golden-winged Warbler Working Group. She and her husband established their coffee farm as a private preserve, Reserva El Jaguar, now a premier birding destination.