HNC Birding Awards

Our thanks to Bob Curry (centre) for presenting the HNC birding awards at the April 2024 Bird Study Group meeting.

Keith Dieroff (left) was presented the Bird of the Year Award for being the first to spot an Ancient Murrelet.

Markus Legzdins (right) was presented with the Robert Curry Trophy for recording an impressive 275 species in 2023.

Read more about the awards below.

Bird of the Year Award

The winner of the 2023 Bird of the Year Award was Keith Dieroff for being the first to spot an Ancient Murrelet.

The Bird of the Year Award is given annually by the Bird Study Group. A rare or unusual bird is chosen, and the award is given to the first person (or people) to see that bird.

Winners receive a certificate with a digital photo of the bird on it and also has his or her name engraved on a brass plate mounted on a special plaque of all the winners.

Previous Winners

2018 – James Lees and Richard Poort – Slaty-backed Gulls

2017 – Ross Wood – Anhinga

2016 – Eric Holden – Black-bellied Whistling-Duck

2015 – Howard Shapiro and Brian Gibson – Lark Bunting

2014 – Darlene Bourdeau – White Ibis

2013 – Brandon Holden – Neotropic Cormorant

2012 – Dave Don – Leach’s Storm Petrel

2011 – Rob Dobos – Black-throated Gray Warbler

2010 – Tom Thomas – Le Conte’s Sparrow

2009 – Cheryl Edgecombe, Rob Dobos and Barbara Charlton – Long-billed Curlew

2008 – Kevin McLaughlin – Northern Hawk Owl

2007 – Dave Donn – White-faced Ibis

2006 – Barry Cherriere – Manx Shearwater

2005 – Cheryl Edgecombe and Dave Don – Black-backed Woodpecker

2004 – Angie and Ken Williams – Wilson’s Plover

2003 – John Harvey, Jeff Skevington and Richard Skevington – Gray Flycatcher

2002 – Maris Apse, Gavin Edmonstone and John Miles – Smith’s Longspur

2001 – Jim Cram, Jim Dowall and Bill Smith – Ivory Gull

2000 – Linda Nuttall – Heermann’s Gull

The Robert Curry Trophy

The winner of the 2023 Robert Curry Trophy was Markus Legzdins with 275 species seen in the year.

The Robert Curry Trophy is awarded annually to the young enthusiastic birder who has seen the most species of birds in the Hamilton Study Area in a calendar year. Robert Curry is a long time naturalist, HNC member, and author of Birds of Hamilton (2006).

The Robert Curry Trophy was inaugurated in 2014 to replace the Ross Thompson Trophy (1939-2013). The criteria for this trophy are the same as for the Ross Thompson Trophy.

Click here to download the entry form/checklist for the Robert Curry trophy.

  • The observer must NOT have reached his/her 18th birthday during the year.
  • The observer’s name, address, phone number and date of birth must be submitted with the application.
  • The submitted bird list must include the date of each first sighting and location for each species.
  • All birds must have been seen within one calendar year (i.e. January 1st through December 31st, inclusive).
  • All birds must have been seen in the Hamilton Study Area (within 40 km of Dundurn Castle, Hamilton – seemap).
  • Submitted lists will be reviewed by a Robert Curry committee before the trophy is awarded each year
  • Young birders may wish to check HNC publications such as the Checklist of the Birds of Hamilton-Wentworth, the Date Guide to Birds of Hamilton-Wentworth,
    and Birds of Hamilton and surrounding areas.
  • The submitted lists will not be returned; observers should ensure they have a duplicate set of records.
  • The trophy may not be awarded more than twice to the same observer.
Previous Winners

2019 – Liam Thorne – 195 species

2018 – William Olenek – 125 species

2015 – Ben Oldfield – 209 species

2014 – Ben Oldfield – 185 species