Another talented BirdWatching contributing editor is receiving a sky-high honor.
Laura Erickson — the popular writer, tour leader, public speaker, and author — has won the American Birding Association’s highest honor: the Roger Tory Peterson Award.
The award, not given every year, recognizes a “lifetime of achievements in promoting the cause of birding,” says the ABA.
Erickson becomes the fourth BirdWatching contributor to receive the honor. She joins Pete Dunne, who received the award in 2001, David Sibley (2002), and Kenn Kaufman (2008).
Dunne, vice president for natural history information for the New Jersey Audubon Society and director of the Cape May Bird Observatory, writes the regular column “Birder at Large.” Sibley, author of the bestselling Sibley Guide to Birds, contributes the regular column “ID Toolkit.” While Kaufman, the youngest person ever to receive the lifetime achievement award, prepares “ID Tips” for each issue.
Erickson, says the ABA, has reached out to non-birders for many years “to encourage their interest in birds and birding through the publication of numerous popular books accessible to the average citizen, a radio program that has run without stop since 1986, and a regular column in BirdWatching magazine.”
Her column “Attracting Birds,” about attracting, feeding, sheltering, and understanding the birds in your backyard, appears in every issue and on BirdWatchingDaily.com. (In a recent column, she told how to attract and enjoy ground-feeding sparrows.)
“Snow Bird,” her first article in the magazine, appeared in December 2003. It described the migration and winter habits of American Robin.
A gifted and prolific communicator, Erickson is the author or co-author of many books, including National Geographic Pocket Guide to Birds of North America (2013), The Bird Watching Answer Book: Everything You Need to Know to Enjoy Birds in Your Backyard and Beyond (2009), 101 Ways to Help Birds (2006), and Sharing the Wonder of Birds with Kids, which won the National Outdoor Book Award for 1997.
She also produces the radio program “For the Birds” and is the author of two entertaining and informative blogs: Laura’s Birding Blog and Laura’s Conservation Big Year, in which she described her attempt to find and photograph species of conservation concern throughout 2013.
The Wisconsin Society for Ornithology honored Erickson for significant contributions to Wisconsin ornithology in 2007, awarding her its Bronze Passenger Pigeon Award.
We couldn’t be happier for Laura — or for our readers, who can now find four of birding’s most highly acclaimed writers in every issue of BirdWatching. Please join me in congratulating Laura on this well-deserved honor. — Chuck Hagner, Editor